COLOMBO Oct 5 The Sri Lankan rupee edged down
on Wednesday on mild importer dollar demand amid market
expectation that the currency will remain under downward
pressure ahead of the festival season, dealers said.
The spot rupee was at 146.80/85 per dollar at 0732
GMT, compared with Tuesday's close of 146.70/75.
"The importer demand is slowly picking up. I think the rupee
will be trading between 146.50-147.00 range until end of the
year," a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity.
The rupee has been under pressure due to importer dollar
demand, posting a 0.65 percent decline last week.
Two dealers said there was neither intervention by the
central bank nor direction by state banks. Usually the central
bank steps into the market whenever there is volatility.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Monday said the
government wanted a strong currency through higher foreign
inflows and without interventions.
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 were down with the benchmark Colombo stock
index was 0.25 percent weaker at 6,575.03 as of 0736 GMT.
Turnover was at 358.6 million rupees ($2.45 million).
($1 = 146.6000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)