COLOMBO, April 6 The Sri Lankan rupee edged up
in dull trade on Thursday as inward remittances and exporter
dollar sales ahead of the festival season surpassed mild
importer demand for greenback, 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
trading at 152.45/65 per dollar at 0538 GMT, from Wednesday's
close of 152.50/65.
Spot-next was traded at 152.05/10 per dollar compared with
Wednesday's close of 152.10/20.
"Market is very light. There is not much activity. The rupee
is firmer as a foreign bank sold dollars," said a currency
dealer who did not wish to be named.
"Dollar conversions are happening ahead of the festival
while importers are buying depending on the price."
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
Sri Lankan shares were up 0.73 percent at 6,243.66 as
of 0545 GMT. Turnover stood at 126.02 million rupees
($1 = 151.7000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil