COLOMBO Jan 2 The Sri Lankan rupee
eased slightly in its first session of the year on Monday as a
lack of inflows weighed on sentiment, dealers said.
The currency fell 3.9 percent in 2016.
Rupee forwards were active, with one-month forwards
slightly weaker at 150.95/151.00 per dollar at 0804 GMT compared
with Friday's close of 150.75/85.
One-week forwards traded at 150.15/25 per dollar while
spot-next forwards and the spot rupee were hardly
traded, dealers said.
"Rupee is under pressure and it will continue to slide if we
don't see steady inflows," said a currency dealer, asking not to
On Friday, the central bank raised the spot currency
reference rate to 150.00, a record low against the dollar. The
banking regulator has raised the spot reference rate by a total
50 cents last week. That followed a 40-cent increase in the rate
in each of the previous two weeks amid sustained pressure on the
Officials from the central bank were not immediately
available for comment.
The central bank kept its benchmark interest rates steady on
Friday for a fifth straight month as expected, saying credit
growth was responding to earlier tightening measures.
Dealers said the market was bracing for some depreciation in
the rupee in January after the central bank said depreciation of
the currency was not necessarily negative for the economy.
Sri Lankan shares were down 0.5 percent at 6,197.41
as of 0806 GMT. Turnover stood at 306.4 million rupees ($2.05
($1 = 149.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil