COLOMBO, Sept 5 The Sri Lankan rupee ended
marginally higher on Monday, helped by sale of dollars by
exporters and a lack of demand from importers for the greenback,
The spot rupee ended at 145.45/50 per dollar,
slightly firmer from Friday's close of 145.48/53, while one-week
rupee forwards were at 145.60/65, compared with the
previous close of 145.65/73.
"Rupee ended firmer due to exporter (dollar) conversions and
lack of importer demand for dollar," a currency dealer said,
requesting for anonymity.
"The seasonal (importer) demand might pick up from middle of
the next month. This is a dull season."
After leaving the key policy rates steady, central bank
Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy said last week that the currency
was not under upward pressure as capital inflows had not been of
sufficient magnitude to exert such pressure.
The central bank has largely not intervened to defend the
rupee ever since a dual-tenure sovereign bond issue raised $1.5
billion in July.
Dealers have said the rupee could appreciate if the central
bank does not buy the U.S. dollar from the market since capital
inflows into government securities have begun, and also due to
$1.5 billion sovereign bond inflows.
Dealers also said the central bank was not seen intervening
in the market to defend the currency. Central bank officials
were not available for comment.
The spot rupee is usually managed by the central bank, and
market participants use the forward market levels for guidance
on the currency.
The central bank absorbed a net $600 million from the market
since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $1.5
billion, three-year loan in June, Coomaraswamy said.
Net foreign inflows into government securities jumped more
than 32 percent to 304.1 billion rupees ($2.09 billion) through
Aug. 31, according to the latest central bank data, since the
IMF loan approval.
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas