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Rupee weaker as state-run bank raises dollar peg

21 August 2015 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Reuters - The Sri Lankan rupee traded weaker yesterday after a state-run bank, through which the Central Bank usually directs the market, raised the currency’s peg against the dollar by 10 cents, allowing the exchange rate to depreciate to 134.00.

The market had expected the Central Bank to allow a slight depreciation in the rupee, in line with other regional currencies that have declined against the dollar. The rupee traded at 134.00 per dollar, 0.07 percent weaker from Thursday’s close of 133.90.

“There is a huge importer demand and no exporters are converting dollars,” said a currency dealer, asking not to be named. “State banks are also selling reluctantly.”

The market expects some business-friendly economic policies and more dollar inflows after the centre-right United National Party (UNP) won Monday’s parliamentary election. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP is expected to form a stable government along with President Maithripala Sirisena’s centre-left Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and push through promised reforms to minimise corruption.

Sri Lankan shares were firmer near a seven-month high on Friday on hopes of political stability. The main stock index was 0.29 percent or 21.48 points firmer at 7,471.50 at 0656 GMT, hovering near its highest close since Jan. 16 hit on Wednesday. 
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