The rupee closed at 126.12/20 to the dollar from Wednesday’s close of 126.20/30.
“We saw foreign inflows into treasury bonds. The Central Bank bought dollars from the market to prevent a sharp gain,” a currency dealer said according to Reuters.
Deputy Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said the Central Bank had been buying dollars for a few days to prevent volatility.
Currency dealers expect more inflows into Treasury bonds and bills after the Government’s debt office said on Wednesday Sri Lanka could accommodate up to Rs. 60 billion foreign investment in Government securities this year.
Profit taking on John Keells Holdings and banking sector stocks yesterday sent the ASI into negative territory whilst a few large deals boosted turnover to Rs. 1 billion.
“Retail participation continued to be muted whilst private deals on blue chips helped bolster turnover,” Lanka
Securities said. However, Distilleries saw continued interest from retail and institutional
Asia Wealth Management said the ASI had a tumultuous experience with considerable volatility being witnessed in the index performance.
The day was marked by number of large crossings by institutional investors on a number of large cap counters over the course of the day. A large crossing of approximately 1.8 million shares of Hatton National Bank, which took place at a price of Rs. 146 each resulted in the counter becoming the top contributor towards the days turnover. The counter accounted for approximately 25% of the day’s turnover.
In contrast to the heavy institutional interest experienced over the course of the day on large cap counters, retail activity was limited to small cap counters such as Free Lanka Capital Holdings, Piramal Glass and Blue Diamonds (Non-voting).
In addition crossings were witnessed on the following counters; Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka saw one million shares change hands at a price of Rs. 146, John Keells Holdings experienced three crossings totalling 5,667,000 shares at a price between Rs. 223.50-225, Nestle Lanka also benefitted from a crossing of 307,000 shares at a price of Rs. 1,630, and Sampath Bank saw 100,000 shares change hands at a price of Rs. 201.
Foreign purchases amounted to Rs. 678.9 million, whilst foreign sales amounted to Rs. 539.4 million resulting in a net foreign inflow of Rs. 139.5 million.