Rupee steady amid importer dollar demand

23 October 2015 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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REUTERS - The Sri Lankan rupee traded steady yesterday despite dollar demand from importers as banks did not trade the greenback above 141.05, which is seen as the central bank’s desired level, dealers said.

The rupee traded at 141.05/15 per dollar at 0657 GMT. “There is demand, and sellers are very reluctant. But nobody is trading above 141.05 - the level seen as the central bank’s desired level,” a currency dealer said asking not to be named.

Dealers said a private bank sold dollars for select banks at 141.05.

 Dealers also said the rupee would gradually fall due to high import demand and fewer exporter conversions.

Analysts expect Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to increase import taxes when he presents the 2016 budget scheduled on Nov. 20, to discourage shipments into the country.

Apart from imports, heavy government spending is also putting pressure on the rupee, dealers said.

he rupee hit a record low of 141.40 per dollar on Sept. 28, but recovered slightly after a state-run bank sold dollars.

Sri Lanka’s main stock index was up 0.22 percent at 7,084.21 at 0700 GMT. Turnover was Rs. 824.22 million ($5.85 million).
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