October 4, 2017 / 11:33 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends weaker on importer dollar demand

COLOMBO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed weaker on Wednesday as dollar demand from importers surpassed the sales of the U.S. currency by exporters and banks due to inward remittances, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 153.30/38 per dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 153.23/30.

“The two state banks were on the buying side — may be to cover some oil bills,” said a currency dealer who did not wish to be named.

The rupee has been under pressure since January after the central bank stopped defending the currency and started buying the dollar to build up the country’s depleted foreign currency reserves.

The island nation had seen 18 billion rupees ($117.49 million) of net inflows into equities this year as of Tuesday’s close, and 29.1 billion rupees worth inflows into government securities as of Sept. 27 this year, official data showed.

Sri Lanka’s markets are closed on Thursday for a Buddhist holiday. ($1 = 153.2000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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