COLOMBO, June 14 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee edged lower on Wednesday as demand for the dollar from importers surpassed selling of the greenback by exporters, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with spot-next forwards trading at 152.95/153.05 per dollar at 0535 GMT, weaker from Tuesday’s close of 152.90/153.00.
One-week forwards were trading at 153.15/25, compared with Tuesday’s close of 153.10/20.
“The rupee is under pressure with importer demand. Today, its the general importer (dollar) demand and there are not much of dollar conversions in the market,” a currency dealer said, requesting anonymity.
“There are spot-next bids at 153.00, but nobody is willing to step in to 153.00. When people are not comfortable in spot-next trading, they trade in one-week forwards.”
Seasonal demand for dollars will start from August, he added.
The rupee has been under pressure after central bank governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the bank would allow gradual depreciation of the currency.
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.
The spot rupee did not trade on Wednesday. The central bank fixed the spot reference rate at 152.50 on May 5
Foreign investors bought a net 1.37 billion rupees ($8.98 million) worth of government securities in the week ended June 7. They have sold a net 39.96 billion rupees worth of securities so far this year.
Sri Lankan shares were up 0.13 percent at 6,657.06, as of 0543 GMT. Turnover stood at 363 million Sri Lankan rupees ($2.38 million). ($1 = 152.5000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)