COLOMBO, July 4 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee traded weaker on Tuesday as the importer dollar demand surpassed sales of the greenback by exporters and banks, dealers said.
Expectations of a rise in imports also weighed on the local currency, they added.
The spot rupee was trading at 153.60/68 per dollar, as of 0535 GMT, slightly weaker from Monday’s close of 153.57/63.
The spot rupee resumed trading on June 19 for the first time since May 5, when the central bank fixed its reference rate at 152.50.
“Trading was dull considering it is a U.S. holiday,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity.
Dealers said they expected seasonal demand for the dollar to pick up from August.
Rupee has been under pressure since early this year after the central bank stopped defending the currency at a time when the island nation faces a balance of payments crisis.
The central bank is also compelled to buy dollars from the market to meet the reserve target set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under a $1.5 billion, three-year loan programme.
Sri Lankan shares were up 0.06 percent at 6,737.02, as of 0535 GMT. Turnover stood at 301 million rupees ($1.96 million).
$1 = 153.3500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips