Sri Lankan rupee edges down on importer dollar demand

COLOMBO, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee traded slightly lower on Thursday as importer dollar demand surpassed exporter sales of the U.S. currency, dealers said.

The spot rupee was at 145.82/92 per dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 145.70/85. One-week forwards were at 145.98/146.10, compared with the previous close of 145.90/146.05.

The spot rupee is usually managed by the central bank and market participants use the forward market levels for guidance on the currency.

“(Importer) demand is there but not much of (dollar) conversions,” said a currency dealer, asking not to be named.

Dealers said seasonal importer demand would pick up from mid-October.

The central bank has largely not intervened to defend the rupee ever since a dual-tenure sovereign bond issue raised $1.5 billion in July.

Sri Lankan shares edged down, with the benchmark Colombo stock index down 0.16 percent at 6,482.20 as of 0525 GMT. Turnover was at 75.6 million rupees ($519,052.52). ($1 = 145.6500 Sri Lankan rupees)