COLOMBO Oct 4 The Sri Lankan rupee traded
weaker on Tuesday as importer demand for the dollar outpaced
exporter sales of the U.S. currency, dealers said.
The spot rupee was at 146.70/80 per dollar at 0739
GMT, compared with Monday's close of 146.55/65.
The rupee has been under downward pressure due to seasonal
importer dollar demand, posting a 0.65 percent decline last
"We do not see any direction from the central bank regarding
the spot rupee level," a currency dealer said.
Finance Ministry Ravi Karunanayake said on Monday the
government wanted a strong currency through higher foreign
inflows and without interventions.
"We are trying to get into an equilibrium between the
interest rates and exchange rate," he told a Foreign
Correspondents Association (FCA) forum.
He also said the government was planning to impose heavy
penalties on tax defaulters and expand tax offices across the
country as it aims to increase the tax base..
The central bank has been under pressure from the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue rebuilding
international reserves and maintain exchange rate flexibility to
develop the foreign exchange market further.
Sri Lankan shares gained with the benchmark Colombo stock
index up 0.14 percent at 6,583.50 as of 0743 GMT.
Turnover was at 456.1 million rupees ($3.11 million).
($1 = 146.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)