COLOMBO Jan 3 The Sri Lankan rupee edged down
in thin trade on Tuesday amid worries over slowing foreign fund
inflows, even as market players awaited central bank's key
policy statement later in the day, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with one-month forwards
quoting at 151.00/15 per dollar at 0558 GMT, compared with
Monday's close of 150.95/151.00.
The currency fell 3.9 percent in calendar 2016.
One-week forwards, spot-next forwards and the spot rupee
were hardly traded, dealers said.
"The market is quiet and waiting for some strong inflows," a
currency dealer said, asking not to be named.
"Most of the market players are also waiting for the central
bank's road map on the financial policies for this year."
The central bank will announce its policies and indicative
targets for 2017 at 0930 GMT.
The rupee has been under pressure due to imports and foreign
investors exiting government securities, dealers said.
On Friday, the central bank raised the spot currency
reference rate to 150.00, a record low against the dollar.
The banking regulator raised the spot reference rate by 50
cents last week, after a 40-cent increase in each of the
previous two weeks amid sustained pressure on the currency.
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 0.51 percent at 6,161.01
as of 0607 GMT. Turnover stood at 57.1 million rupees
($1 = 149.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas