REUTERS: The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly weaker yesterday in dull trade as importer dollar demand outweighed selling of the greenback by exporters. The rupee ended at 155.25/30 per dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 155.10/25. The rupee hit a record low of 155.90 last week.
“There was some importer dollar demand, but the market was dull with trading volume also was low,” a dealer said. The local currency has weakened 1.3 percent so far this year. The domestic currency lost 2.5 percent last year and 3.9 percent in 2016.
The currency is expected to be pressured by continued importer demand for dollars, dealers said.
Dealers added they expect a gradual depreciation in the rupee and higher volatility this year on account of debt repayments by the government.
The government must repay an estimated Rs.1.97 trillion (US$12.68 billion) in 2018 - a record high - including US$2.9 billion of foreign loans and a total of US$5.36 billion in interest.
Foreign investors sold government securities net worth Rs. 2.1 billion in the week ended Feb. 14, Central Bank data showed.