Sri Lankan rupee steady in thin trade

COLOMBO, Jan 27 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee traded steady in thin volume on Friday as dollar selling by exporters and inward remittances outpaced demand for the U.S. currency from importers, dealers said.

Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards were trading at 150.85/95 per dollar at 0546 GMT little changed from Thursday’s close of 150.85/90.

The spot rupee was quoted around the central bank’s revised reference level of 150.25, dealers said.

“We have seen some importer demand, but at the same time there are some inflows because of Middle Eastern salary week. So we see some remittances coming in,” a currency dealer said, requesting anonymity.

“We expect the rupee to strengthen in the latter part of the day with the (inward) remittances.”

But dealers said the currency will be under pressure to depreciate due to the seasonal importer demand in the coming months.

Asian shares were steady on Friday in holiday-thinned trade and were on track for a solid advance this week, while oil and the dollar retained gains in the wake of strong U.S. corporate earnings.

Sri Lankan shares were up 0.1 percent at 6,136.28, as of 0551 GMT. Turnover stood at 221.3 million Sri Lankan rupees ($1.47 million)

($1 = 150.1000 Sri Lankan rupees)