November 7, 2017 / 12:23 PM / 9 months ago

Sri Lanka rupee edges up on banks' dlr sales; budget in focus

COLOMBO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended firmer on Tuesday as dollar sales by foreign banks outpaced strong importer demand for the greenback, while most market participants awaited cues from the national budget later this week, dealers said.

The spot rupee closed at 153.40/45 per dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 153.55/60.

“Foreign banks’ dollar sales helped the gain. There was huge demand from importers and the market was very active,” a currency dealer said, asking not to be named.

Sri Lanka’s central bank on Tuesday revised down its economic growth forecast to between 4 percent and 4.5 percent for this year after holding its key interest rates steady as it focuses on supporting a faltering economy.

Currency dealers said the market was also waiting for direction from the national budget, scheduled to be unveiled on Thursday.

The rupee has slipped 2.5 percent so far this year.

The island-nation has seen 20.3 billion rupees ($132.38 million) worth of net inflows into equities this year as of Tuesday’s close, and 42.7 billion rupees into government securities as of Nov. 1, official data showed. ($1 = 153.3500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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