June 14, 2017 / 11:48 AM / 2 months ago

Sri Lankan rupee edges down on importer dollar demand

COLOMBO, June 14 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly lower on Wednesday as dollar demand from importers surpassed selling of the U.S. currency by exporters, dealers said.

Rupee forwards were active, with spot-next forwards ending at 152.95/153.05 per dollar, weaker compared with Tuesday's close of 152.90/153.00.

One-week forwards ended at 153.15/25, compared with Tuesday's close of 153.10/20.

"The rupee is under pressure with importer demand," a currency dealer said, requesting anonymity.

Seasonal demand for dollars will start from August, the dealer added.

The rupee has been under pressure after central bank governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the bank would allow gradual depreciation of the currency.

The central bank has set a target of $1.2 billion in direct market purchases of dollars to boost the island nation's reserves this year.

The spot rupee did not trade on Wednesday. The central bank fixed the spot reference rate at 152.50 on May 5.

Foreign investors bought a net 1.37 billion rupees ($8.98 million) worth of government securities in the week ended June 7. They have sold a net 39.96 billion rupees worth of securities so far this year.

$1 = 152.5000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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