Reuters - The Sri Lankan rupee was steady in dull early trading yesterday as greenback sales by banks somewhat offset importer demand for dollars, which still weighed on the local currency, dealers said.
Pressure on the local currency is likely to ease due to expected fund inflows following the island nation’s loan deal with the International Monetary Fund and a plan to raise $1.5 billion through the sale of a 10-year sovereign bond within the next few days, dealers said.
The spot rupee reference rate was at 145.75, the dealers said.
The banking regulator had fixed the spot trading rate at 143.90 per dollar until May 2, dealers said. Central Bank officials were not available to comment on whether it had intervened in the forex market.
“Rupee is trading steady as there is not much of trades happening but the (dollar) demand pressure is there,” a currency dealer said, asking not to be named.
Trading in the spot currency has been intermittent since Jan. 27, and yesterday the spot was barely bid, but some movement in short-term dollar/rupee forwards indicated the rupee was steady. The spot next dollar/rupee forwards were steady at 146.35/40 per dollar, compared with Thursday’s close. The spot next, which acts as a proxy for the spot currency, indicates the exchange rate for the day following the conventional spot settlement and was five days ahead for yesterday’s trade.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s stock market was 0.27 percent firmer at 6,674.26 as of 0545 GMT on a turnover of Rs.120.5 million ($827,325.78).