Sri Lanka rupee peaks at 116.50 in volatile trade

May 07, 2009 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka rupee peaked at 116.50 in intra-day trading against the US dollar, Thursday before weakening to 117.70/90 levels, as state bank buying returned to the market, dealers said. The rupee gained steeply with foreign banks on the sell side in morning trade and a state bank bought at 116.60 levels.

The rupee closed at 118.10 levels on Wednesday, amid muted state bank buying which usually sets a bottom for the currency.

The rupee weakened to 117.70/90 levels later in the day, but active exporter selling was still not evident, dealers said.

Exporters are holding out for a weaker rupee, but Sri Lanka’s imports have also collapsed.

But a central bank intervention cycle ended in late March, ahead of an International Monetary Fund bailout, removing the main pressure on the exchange rate.

Colombo stock were up 0.08 percent in mid-morning trade.