COLOMBO, June 20 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker on Tuesday as dollar demand from importers weighed on the spot currency, which traded for a second straight session after six weeks.
The spot rupee started trading on Monday for the first time since May 5 when the central bank fixed the spot reference rate at 152.50.
The spot rupee ended at 153.30/40 per dollar, weaker from Monday’s close of 153.18/23.
“There was some (dollar) buying, but not large volumes. There was general importer demand,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity.
Dealers said they expect seasonal demand for dollars to pick up from August.
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, mainly to achieve a target set by the International Monetary Fund in return for a three-year $1.5 billion loan.
Foreign investors bought a net 7.93 billion rupees ($51.8 million) worth of government securities in the week ended June 14. They have sold a net 32.03 billion rupees worth of government bonds so far this year. ($1 = 152.9500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)