COLOMBO, March 17 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed higher on Friday as dollar selling by exporters late in the day and inward remittances surpassed demand for the greenback from a foreign bank, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards closing at 152.60/80 per dollar, compared with Thursday’s close of 153.10/25.
“We have seen exporter dollar sales and inward remittances during the latter part of the day as the rates went up,” said a currency dealer, asking not to be named.
The spot currency was quoted at 151.90/152.30 per dollar, but was not traded.
Sri Lanka’s central bank has been preventing spot rupee trades below 151.35 per dollar, dealers said. Central bank officials were not available for comment.
The central bank, on behalf of the government, raised a record $973.25 million through a Sri Lanka Development Bond auction earlier this week.
The rupee has fallen 1.44 percent so far this year, with dealers saying they expect the currency to weaken 6-8 percent in 2017. It lost 3.9 percent against the dollar last year.
$1 = 151.8000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath