Sri Lankan rupee weaker on banks’ dollar buying; stocks up

Jan 30, 2017 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee traded weaker on Monday as some foreign banks bought dollars amid demand for the U.S. currency from importers, dealers said.

Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards trading at 150.90/151.00 per dollar at 0551 GMT, weaker from Friday’s close of 150.85/95.

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

“There was demand (for dollars). We have seen some foreign banks buying dollars for foreigners who are selling the (rupee) bonds,” a currency dealer said, requesting anonymity.

The rupee will face depreciation pressure due to seasonal importer dollar demand, dealers said.

The rupee has been under pressure due to rising imports and net selling of government securities by foreign investors, while the central bank has said defending the currency was not sensible.

Foreign investors have net sold 21.1 billion rupees ($140.57 million) worth of government securities in the three weeks to Jan. 25, according to the latest central bank data.

Sri Lankan shares were up 0.13 percent at 6,145.49, as of 0606 GMT. Turnover stood at 65.2 million Sri Lankan rupees ($434,377.08).