COLOMBO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee was steady for a third straight session on Monday as dollar demand from importers offset exporter sales of the U.S. currency in the absence of central bank intervention, dealers said.
The spot rupee was steady at 146.90/95 per dollar at 0633 GMT.
However, dealers continue to expect the rupee to weighed down by seasonal imports.
“The currency will be under downward pressure due to seasonal imports until mid-December, and then we might see it settling with exporter sales and remittances,” a currency dealer said, asking not to be named.
The spot rupee is usually managed by the central bank, and market participants use the forward market levels for guidance on the currency.
The spot rupee was steady last week after two weeks of losses.
The central bank has been buying dollars from the market to accumulate reserves to meet targets set by the International Monetary Fund under a $1.5-billion loan deal, dealers said.
Officials at the central bank were not available for comment.
Sri Lankan shares were down, heading for a sixth straight session fall with the benchmark Colombo stock index was 0.2 percent weaker at 6,469.41 as of 0643 GMT. It fell below a key psychological barrier of 6,500 on Thursday. Turnover stood at 85 million rupees ($580,720).
$1 = 146.3700 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri