(Colombo) REUTERS: The Sri Lankan rupee hit a record low yesterday as foreign investors exited government securities after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rate for a third time this year, while shares fell in thin trade amid foreign outflows.
The rupee hit a new low of 169.40 per dollar on importer demand for the greenback and as foreign banks bought the U.S. currency to facilitate foreign selling in government securities, but intervention by the Central Bank limited the fall, market sources said.
The rupee ended at 169.35/55 per dollar, compared with the previous close of 169.00/20. The previous record low was 169.05 per dollar hit on Wednesday. The rupee has weakened 4.8 percent so far this month against the dollar after a 1.2 percent drop in the previous month, and has declined 10.2 percent so far this year. Data from the Central Bank showed foreign investors had sold government securities worth a net Rs.8.8 billion (US $52.19 million) in the week ended September 19, the highest since the week to December 6.
Sri Lanka has suffered a net outflow of Rs.63.7 billion in securities so far this year.