COLOMBO, March 30 The Sri Lankan rupee ended
steady on Thursday as importer dollar demand in late trades
offset inward remittances and selling of the greenback by
exporters, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
closing unchanged at 152.55/65 per dollar.
"Still we see importer demand. But the pressure on the rupee
will ease with remittances and exporter dollar sales in the
coming weeks ahead of the traditional new year in April," said a
currency dealer who did not wish to be named.
Dealers said the rupee has been under pressure due to dollar
demand to meet increased seasonal imports ahead of the
traditional new year that is celebrated on April 13-14.
The central bank on Monday raised the spot rupee
reference rate by 10 cents to 151.70. It had raised the
reference rate by 25 cents on March 20.
On Friday, the central bank raised interest rates for the
first time in eight months, saying tighter policy was a
precaution against a build-up of inflationary pressures.
Analysts said the rate hike, a move that was also aimed at
easing pressure on the rupee, could help stabilise the domestic
currency that has been hurt by rising imports and outflows due
to rupee bond sales by foreign investors.
Foreign investors net bought government securities worth 70
million rupees ($461,285) in the week ended March 22, but they
have net sold 63.2 billion rupees of such instruments so far
($1 = 151.7500 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by