REUTERS- Sri Lankan fiveday rupee forwards traded steady yesterday as dollar selling by a state bank helped offset demand for the greenback from importers, dealers said. The forwards, which act as a proxy for the spot currency and are called spot next, traded at 146.20/50 per dollar at 0611 GMT compared with Thursday’s close of 146.20/70. It hit an intra-day high of 145.00 per dollar on Thursday as a state bank sold dollars. This was seen by brokers as an intervention from the Central Bank to keep the currency steady.
The spot rupee, which has not been active since Jan. 27, did not trade. The Central Bank has fixed the spot trading price at 143.90 through moral suasion, dealers said. Central Bank officials were not available for comment. “The state bank intervention is there today also. A state bank is selling (dollars) the spot next in the range of 146.00 to 146.30 for select trades,” a currency dealer said asking not to be named.
The one-week forwards, which have been active since Jan. 27 and were hovering near record lows, did not actively trade yesterday for a second straight session, the dealers said. Sri Lanka’s main stock index was up 0.2 percent at 6,083.94 by 0622 GMT. Turnover stood at 1.65 billion rupees ($11.3 million). ($1 = 146.0000 Sri Lankan rupees)