COLOMBO, June 19 The Sri Lankan rupee ended
weaker on Monday as dollar demand from importers weighed on the
spot currency when it resumed trading after six weeks, dealers
The spot rupee ended at 153.18/23 after it began
trading for the first time since May 5 when the central bank had
fixed the spot reference rate at 152.50.
In the absence of active spot trade since then, rupee
forwards have been active.
"The spot rupee started trading today after a long time, I
think the central bank decided to let it go," said a currency
dealer, requesting anonymity.
Another dealer confirmed the spot trade, saying there was no
intervention by the central bank.
The banking regulator is not expected to intervene in the
market, dealers said, due to a mid-year foreign exchange
reserves target and seasonal demand for dollars, expected from
Central bank officials were not available for comment.
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, mainly to achieve a target set by the
International Monetary Fund in return for a three-year $1.5
Foreign investors bought a net 7.93 billion rupees ($51.8
million) worth of government securities in the week ended June
14. They have sold a net 32.03 billion rupees worth of
government bonds so far this year.
($1 = 153.0500 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju