Sri Lankan rupee gains on dollar selling by state bank; stocks up

July 22, 2016 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee rose on Friday as dollar selling by a state-run bank surpassed mild importer demand for the greenback.

One-week rupee forwards, which have been acting as a proxy for the spot rupee, were at 145.80/146.00 per dollar at 0544 GMT, compared with Thursday’s close of 146.30/40.

“I don’t see huge demand, buyers are staying away as a state banks is selling (dollars),” said a currency dealer, asking not to be named.

Central bank officials were not available for comment.

Central Bank Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said on Wednesday that the $1.5 billion raised from a bond issue last week had already come into the country and been absorbed into its foreign currency reserves.

Last week, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the rupee would “obviously appreciate” on inflows from the country’s first sale of dual-tranche eurobonds.

The spot rupee was not traded on Friday.

Spot-next, which are rupee forwards settled three days after the spot rupee settlement, were firmer at 145.75/95 per dollar, compared with Thursday’s close of 146.90/147.10.

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

The Sri Lankan stock index was up 0.11 percent at 6,424.45 as of 0606 GMT, on a turnover of 325.18 million rupees ($2.23 million).