REUTERS: The Sri Lankan rupee traded slightly weaker in dull trade yesterday as importer dollar demand and dividend payments outpaced inward remittances and dollar sales by exporters ahead of the festival session, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards trading at 152.65/75 per dollar at 0653 GMT, compared with Thursday’s close of 152.60/70. The Central Bank on Wednesday cut the spot rupee reference rate by 10 cents to 151.60, dealers said. “We have seen some importer (dollar) demand and some dividend or royalty payments going through a couple of foreign banks,” said a currency dealer who did not wish to be named.
The rupee has been under pressure due to increased seasonal imports ahead of the traditional New Year later next week, although dealers expect the pressure to ease with seasonal inward remittances.
Outflows due to rupee bond sales by foreign investors have also been pressuring
Foreign investors net sold government securities worth Rs.950 million ($6.3 million) in the week ended March 29. They have net sold Rs. 64.2 billion of such instruments so far this year.
Sri Lankan shares were up 0.8 percent at 6,297.90 as of 0655 GMT. Turnover stood at Rs.1.27 billion ($8.4 million).