November 30, 2017 / 11:43 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends firmer on inward remittances

COLOMBO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed firmer on Thursday due to dollar inflows through inward remittances and as exporters booked forwards ahead of a long weekend, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 153.55/65 per dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 153.77/85.

“Today there were lot of inward remittances and exporter forward bookings ahead of the long weekend and before the December holidays,” said a currency dealer who declined to be named.

“Today the demand for dollars was also very dull, may be due to the bad weather.”

A tropical storm has killed at least seven people and left five fishermen missing in Sri Lanka, bringing down trees across main roads and on houses, officials said on Thursday, warning of landslides and flooding in severely hit areas.

Currency, bond, and stock markets will be closed on Friday for a public holiday. Normal trading will resume on Monday.

The rupee has lost 2.6 percent so far this year, and dealers say it is expected to face pressure with imports of more low-end vehicles on which the government has cut taxes.

The market has been waiting for some clarity over a foreign exchange management act introduced by the government this month.

Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the new act will decriminalise offences involved with the foreign exchange trading and instead will impose fines.

The government imposed new taxes on high-end vehicles, telecoms, banks and liquor in a bid to boost revenues in its 2018 budget presented earlier this month.

Foreign investors net bought equities worth 18.2 billion rupees ($118.41 million) this year as of Thursday’s close. They net bought government securities worth 49.2 billion rupees as of Nov. 29, official data showed. ($1 = 153.4500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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