July 6, 2015 / 6:28 AM / 2 years ago

Sri Lanka spot rupee steady; stocks rise

COLOMBO, July 6 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee was steady on Monday in dull trade as a state-run bank sold dollars at 133.60 to keep the currency flat, dealers said.

On Thursday, the state bank, through which the central bank usually directs the market, lowered the dollar selling rate by 10 cents from the previous session’s close of 133.70.

“Nothing drastic happening, everybody must be waiting to see the direction,” a currency dealer said.

It remained to be seen whether the central bank can sustain the rupee’s appreciation trend as import demand could pick up due to lower interest rates, dealers said, while the pressure on the currency could build up as exporters might stop selling dollars until the elections are over.

President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved parliament on June 26 and scheduled the election for Aug. 17, in an effort to consolidate power and push through political reforms, ending a months-long deadlock.

Three-month forwards were trading steady at 135.30/40 per dollar, dealers said.

In the stock market, the benchmark index was up 0.07 percent at 7,011.72 as of 0559 GMT.

Turnover stood at 143.5 million rupees ($1.07 million) ($1 = 133.6000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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