COLOMBO, April 17 The Sri Lankan rupee firmed on
Monday in thin trading as foreign banks sold the dollar, dealers
said, but stocks were headed for their first decline in 12
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
trading at 152.95/153.10 per dollar at 0620 GMT, compared with
Wednesday's close of 153.50/60.
The country's foreign exchange and stock markets were closed
for traditional Sinhala-Tamil new year holiday on Thursday and
"The market is still dull as a lot of corporates are not
active after the new year holidays. We see some dollar sales
from foreign banks in the absence of importer dollar demand,"
said a currency dealer who requested anonymity.
Other dealers said the dollar sales could be due to foreign
investors buying local government securities or equities.
Foreign investors have net bought 5.22 billion rupees ($34.3
million) worth of equities in the last 16 consecutive sessions
The rupee was under pressure due to increased seasonal
imports ahead of the new year.
Outflows due to rupee bond sales by foreign investors have
also been putting pressure on the currency.
Foreign investors net bought government securities worth
259.5 million rupees ($1.7 million) in the week ended April 5.
However, they net sold 63.9 billion rupees worth of such
instruments so far this year.
Sri Lankan shares were down 0.4 percent at 6,379.55
as of 0627 GMT, heading for the first decline since March 27.
Turnover stood at 233.7 million rupees ($1.54 million).
($1 = 151.9000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)