REUTERS: Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended steady yesterday as banks’ dollar sales offset importer demand for the greenback, but dealers expect downward pressure to persist until the middle of this year due to lower interest rates.
Actively traded two-week forwards ended flat at 133.90/95 per dollar, while one-week forwards ended steady at 133.60/70 amid moral suasion by the Central Bank.
“There was some bank dollar selling. But import demand was also there,” said a currency dealer asking not to be named.
Dealers said the rupee will be under pressure in May and June when credit growth is expected to hit a peak in the lower interest rate environment.
The Central Bank in its monetary policy statement on Wednesday, while reducing key rates in surprise move to record lows, said the balance-of-payments outlook remains favourable in 2015.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Wednesday said there were sufficient funds to defend the currency and a lot of foreign inflows are expected.
The Central Bank through moral suasion prevented the spot rupee from dropping below 132.90/133.20, a limit it set in February. The Central Bank officials were not immediately available for comment.
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