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Rupee at 1-year high; stocks at 7-week peak

9 April 2013 03:30 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Sri Lankan rupee gained slightly to its highest close in a year yesterday on dollar inflows from inward remittances and exporter conversions ahead of the traditional New Year, dealers said. The rupee edged up to 125.50/55 to the dollar, from Friday’s close of 125.50/70, its strongest close since April 9, 2012.

“There are strong inflows from inward remittances. Exporters also converted dollars to pay salaries and bonuses ahead of the New Year festival,” said a currency dealer who declined to be identified.

“A state bank was seen buying dollars at 125.50 to prevent sharp appreciation.”

Most Sri Lankans will celebrate the traditional New Year on April 13 and April 14.

The currency has risen 1.6 percent this year after falling 10.7 percent in 2012.

The main stock index ended 0.2 percent, or 11.44 points, firmer at 5,777.38, its highest since February 15.

Turnover slumped to a two-week low of Rs.398 million, less than half of this year’s daily average of Rs.1 billion as many investors were on holiday ahead of the traditional New Year. Foreign investors were net buyers of Rs.34.8 million worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to Rs.5.85 billion (US $ 46.58 million). Last year, the bourse saw a net inflow of US $ 303 million.

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