Sri Lanka rupee ends steady, gilt yields unchanged


COLOMBO – Sri Lanka rupee closed steady at 184.60/80 to the US dollar on Monday (5) while bond yields remained unchanged as the new COVID-19 cluster panic gripped the market, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 184.50/185.60 against the greenback on Friday (2).

Sri Lanka identified a new COVID-19 cluster in Gampaha district on Sunday (4) after an apparel factory employee tested positive for the virus..

Over a hundred persons had tested positive including the first factory worker and her daughter. Around 950 direct contacts of the patient have been traced.

Director, Sri Lanka’s Medical Research Institute (MRI), Dr. Jayaruwan Banadara,  said the novel coronavirus has been in the community for the past few months and the risk of the spread has now increased.

“From January to now this virus has been present in the community somehow,” he said, adding that it was unlikely the COVID-19 patient found in Divulapitiya on Sunday, would have been detected after two months of no new cases reported outside the identified clusters, if there was no patients already in the community.

In the secondary securities market, bond yields remained unchanged in dull market trade, dealers said.

FirstCapital Research in its daily report noted that “panic grips the bond market”, elaborating that the  secondary bond market remained at a standstill during the day as fear of another wave of COVID-19 and volatility in liquidity and CBSL holdings led to panic among the market participants.

A 2-year bond maturing on 15.12.2022 closed at 5.70/85% on Monday, steady from 5.70/80% at Friday’s closing, while a bond maturing on 15.01.2023 closed at 5.75/90%, flat from 5.75/95% at the last closing and a  bond maturing on 15.09.2024 closed at 6.22/32%, marginally up from 6.25/40%  at Friday’s closing.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2025 closed at 6.45/60%, down from 6.50/58% at Friday’s closing and a bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 6.80/88%, down from 6.85/95% at previous day’s end, while a bond maturing on 15.08.2027 closed at 7.05/12%, stable from 7.05/15% at the previous day’s end.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 7.15/35% flat from the previous day’s end and a 10-year bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 7.40/60%, up from 7.35/70% at Friday’s closing.

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