REUTERS: The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker yesterday as dollar demand from importers weighed on the spot currency, which traded for a second straight session after six weeks. The spot rupee started trading on Monday for the first time since May 5 when the Central Bank fixed the spot reference rate at 152.50. The spot rupee ended at 153.30/40 per dollar, weaker from Monday’s close of 153.18/23.
“There was some (dollar) buying, but not large volumes. There was general importer demand,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity. Dealers said they expect seasonal demand for dollars to pick up from August.
The Central Bank has set a target of US$1.2 billion in direct market purchases of dollars to boost the island nation’s reserves this year, mainly to achieve a target set by the International Monetary Fund in return for a three-year US$1.5 billion loan.
Foreign investors bought a net Rs.7.93 billion (US$51.8 million) worth of government securities in the week ended June 14. They have sold a net Rs.32.03 billion worth of government bonds so far this year.