June 15, 2017 / 6:11 AM / 6 months ago

Sri Lankan rupee slips on importer dollar demand; stocks up

COLOMBO, June 15 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee slipped on Thursday as dollar demand from importers outweighed selling by exporters, dealers said.

Rupee forwards were active, with spot-next forwards trading at 152.98/153.02 per dollar at 0531 GMT, compared with Wednesday’s close of 152.95/153.05.

One-week forwards were trading at 153.25/35, compared with Wednesday’s close of 153.15/25.

“Both the state banks are on the (dollar) buying side today,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity.

“Nobody wants to trade spot next above 153.00, fearing moral suasion,” said the dealer, adding seasonal demand for dollars would start from August.

The rupee has been under pressure after central bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the bank would allow gradual depreciation of the currency.

The central bank has set a target of $1.2 billion in direct market purchases of dollars to boost the island nation’s reserves this year.

The spot rupee did not trade on Thursday. The central bank fixed the spot reference rate at 152.50 on May 5.

Foreign investors bought a net 1.37 billion rupees ($8.98 million) worth of government securities in the week ended June 7. They have sold a net 39.96 billion rupees worth of securities so far this year.

Sri Lankan shares were up 0.42 percent at 6,697.66, as of 0539 GMT. Turnover stood at 496.3 million rupees ($3.25 million). ($1 = 152.6500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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