COLOMBO, April 6 The Sri Lankan rupee ended
slightly weaker in dull trade on Thursday as it surrendered
early gains due to importer dollar demand in the latter part of
trade, outpacing inward remittances and exporter greenback sales
ahead of the festival session, dealers said.
The central bank on Wednesday cut the spot rupee
reference rate by 10 cents to 151.60, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
closing at 152.60/70 per dollar, from Wednesday's close of
"Market was very light. There was not much activity. There
was some demand (for dollar) in the latter part of the day,"
said a currency dealer who did not wish to be named.
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, dealers said.
The central bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points on
March 24, for the first time in eight months, saying tighter
policy was a precaution against a build-up of inflationary
The rate hike was expected to help stabilise the rupee as
rising imports and outflows due to rupee bond sales by foreign
investors have exerted pressure on the currency, analysts said.
Foreign investors net sold government securities worth 950
million rupees ($6.26 million) in the week ended March 29. They
have net sold 64.2 billion rupees of such instruments so far
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil