Sri Lankan rupee steady; importer demand offsets exporter dollar sales

Oct 21, 2016 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee was trading steady on Friday, with dollar demand by importers offsetting conversions of the U.S. currency by exporters, said dealers.

Rupee forwards were active, with the spot-next at 147.45/55 per dollar as of 0701 GMT, little changed from its previous close of 147.45/50.

The spot rupee was quoted at 146.90/95 per dollar, but was hardly traded.

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 was there, but one exporter selling offset the demand. Still, the rupee is under downward pressure because of the seasonal demand,” said a currency dealer, asking not to be named.

Dealers said the market was waiting for some direction from the national budget scheduled to be announced on Nov. 10.

Sri Lankan shares rose, with the benchmark Colombo stock index 0.05 percent firmer at 6,446.54 as of 0708 GMT. Turnover stood at 346.5 million rupees ($2.35 million).