COLOMBO Feb 7 The Sri Lankan rupee was slightly
weak in dull trade on Tuesday due to dollar demand banks as
foreign investors continued to sell government securities while
the central bank revised the spot reference rate to a record low
of 150.75, dealers said.
The market shrugged off the central bank's policy rate
decision in which the monetary authority kept rates steady for a
sixth straight month.
However, the central bank flagged possible "corrective
measures" in the months ahead in a sign that further tightening
might be on the cards to temper inflation pressures and
safeguard a fragile rupee.
The central bank has revised the spot rupee
reference rate to a record low of 150.75 from 150.50, dealers
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
trading at 151.25/30, compared with Monday's close of 151.18/25.
"Every day we see some foreign selling in government
securities. So the rupee is under pressure. The central bank
would have revised the spot reference rate to ease the
pressure," a currency dealer said, asking not to be named.
Officials at the central bank were not available for
The rupee has fallen 0.5 percent so far this year and has
been under pressure due to rising imports and net selling of
government securities by foreign investors, while the central
bank has said defending the currency with foreign exchange
reserves "does not seem sensible".
Foreign investors net sold 26.6 billion rupees ($177.10
million) worth of government securities in the four weeks to
Feb. 1, according to latest central bank data.
Sri Lankan shares were up 0.15 percent at 6,077.71,
as of 0602 GMT. Turnover stood at 317.7 million rupees ($2.11
($1 = 150.3000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil