REUTERS: The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly firmer yesterday, further moving away from a record low hit earlier this week, as banks and exporters sold dollars in dull trade, dealers said.
The spot rupee, which traded at 153.70 per dollar during the day, ended at 153.65/75 per dollar, compared with Thursday’s close of 153.70/80. The rupee gained 0.2 percent for the week.
On Tuesday, the rupee hit a record intraday low of 154.20/25 per dollar.
“There was no big demand today. There were some exporter (dollar) sales and inward remittances,” said a currency dealer.
Dealers expect a 2-3 percent depreciation this year.
The rupee might see volatility due to heavy debt repayment by the government this year, said dealers. Sri Lanka raised US$470.6 million last week via development bonds, the Central Bank said. President Maithripala Sirisena’s administration must repay an estimated Rs.1.97 trillion (US$12.85 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 bought Rs.2.1 billion worth of government securities this year up to Jan. 18, Central Bank data showed.
The rupee fell 2.5 percent last year, and 3.9 percent in 2016.