Sri Lankan rupee gains on exporter dlr sales, subdued importer demand



COLOMBO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee was trading marginally higher on Friday as exporters sold dollars while the demand for the greenback from importers was subdued with the year-end festival season setting in, dealers said. Rupee forwards were active while spot-next forwards were at 148.85/95 per dollar at 0603 GMT, compared with Thursday's close of 149.00/02. "There is nothing much happening, the pressure has eased and we can't see much (dollar) demand today," said a currency dealer, asking not to be named. The spot rupee was hardly traded, but was quoted at 148.10/90. However, some dealers expect the rupee to be under pressure on fears of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's economic policies leading to a stronger greenback thereby triggering foreign fund outflows. They expect the pressure to ease when seasonal inward remittances begin and on expected inflows, including the $200 million after the swap agreement with China Development Bank. Foreign investors have net sold 38.93 billion rupees ($262.69 million) worth of government securities in the six weeks ended Nov. 23, ahead of an expected Fed rate hike in December. Sri Lankan shares were trading higher with the benchmark Colombo stock index up 0.08 percent at 6,314.10 as of 0624 GMT. Turnover stood at 797.7 million rupees ($5.39 million). ($1 = 148.1000 Sri Lankan rupees)
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