Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Quote for the day

“It is difficult to develop a method that works. It then takes experience to believe what your method is telling you. But the toughest task of all is turning analysis into money. If you don’t believe it, try it.” -  Robert Prechter Jr.

Sri Lanka rupee up on exporter dlr sales; depreciation pressure remains

COLOMBO, June 19 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's rupee edged up on Wednesday due to late dollar sales by exporters on thin volume, with the central bank not intervening in the currency market, but depreciation pressure on the rupee still remains a concern, said dealers.

'The rupee ended firmer due to last-minute dollar sales by exporters and foreign banks,' a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity.

The rupee closed at 128.10/20 to the dollar, firmer from Tuesday's close of 128.50/60.

The rupee lost 1.6 percent last week. It fell to 129.00/129.10 per dollar in early trades on Friday, its lowest in more than six months, as foreign investors sold debt as part of a broader selloff in emerging markets on fears that loose global monetary conditions were about to end.

The rupee has weakened 0.5 percent so far this year, following a 10.7 percent depreciation in 2012 as the central bank opted for a flexible exchange rate regime in February 2012.

Sri Lanka's main stock index edged up from a five-week closing low in the previous session, on thin turnover as investors picked up select blue chips such as Ceylon Tobacco PLC and John Keells Holdings PLC.

The bourse ended 0.26 percent, or 16.23 points, firmer at 6,209.23, edging up from its lowest close since May 6.

It hit a five-week low on Tuesday on concerns over a possible pullout by foreign funds, following regional peers.

After the market closed, sources told Reuters that top conglomerate and market heavyweight John Keells Holdings will sign a $640 million deal to establish an integrated hotel complex.

Shares in Keells closed up 0.38 percent at 265 rupees per share.

Analysts, however, said the deal may not boost Keells' share prices as it has already been factored in.

'There was a rumour on this deal and we believe Keells' share price is bloated on speculation,' one analyst said on condition of anonymity.

Shares in Keells hit a record high of 299.80 rupees on May 21, but have fallen since then.

The market witnessed net foreign inflows of 64.25 million rupees ($499,800) on Wednesday, extending foreign inflows so far this year to 16.22 billion rupees.

The day's turnover was at 343.8 million rupees, well below this year's daily average of 1.01 billion rupees.

($1 = 128.5500 Sri Lanka rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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