COLOMBO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee snapped a four-session decline to end slightly firmer on Friday, as dollar inflows due to inward remittances surpassed greenback buying by banks on behalf of oil importers, dealers said.
Dealers said the rupee was under pressure due to dollar demand from state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp, which stocked up crude ahead of an expected fuel price hike.
The spot rupee which traded at 153.80 during the day ended at 153.65/75 per dollar, firmer from Thursday’s close of 153.72/80.
“The demand was there all through the day. State banks were not that active today and the rupee ended firmer due to inward remittances,” said a currency dealer, who requested anonymity.
Crude prices are expected to rise in the country after private fuel retailer Lanka IOC informed local media it is likely to increase rates as they have been selling at a loss.
The rupee has been under pressure since January after the central bank stopped defending the currency and started buying the dollar to build the country’s depleted foreign currency reserves.
The island nation saw 20.2 billion Sri Lankan rupees of net inflows into equities this year, as of Friday’s close, and 31.1 billion rupees worth inflows into government securities as of Oct. 4, official data showed.
$1 = 153.7000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips