June 4, 2018 / 12:11 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends steady in dull trade

COLOMBO, June 4 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady in dull trade on Monday after it hit a record low in the previous session, as dollar selling by banks offset importer demand for the greenback, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 158.50/60, little changed from Friday’s close of 158.50/70.

The currency hit an all-time low of 158.80 per dollar on Friday, surpassing its previous low of 158.50 hit on May 16.

The currency has declined 3.3 percent so far this year.

“It was a dull day today; we have seen some (dollar) selling by a state bank, probably selling their own positions,” a currency dealer said.

Dealers said the rupee will be under pressure with exporters staying on the sidelines in anticipation of a fall in the unit, in line with other emerging market currencies.

The pressure on the currency is unwarranted as gross external reserves are at $9.1 billion and the real effective exchange rate indexes indicate that the currency is competitive, the central bank has said.

Foreign investors sold government securities worth a net 787.24 million rupees ($4.97 million) in the week ended May 30, bringing the outflow so far this year to 17 billion rupees, central bank data showed. ($1 = 158.5500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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