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Rupee ends steady in dull trade


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Reuters: The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady yesterday as dollar demand from importers offset greenback selling by exporters, traders said.

The rupee closed steady at 159.50/60 per dollar, compared with 24 July. It has declined 3.9% so far this year and hit a record low of 160.17 on 20 June.

“It was a dull day and there were no big deals,” said a currency dealer, asking not to be named.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered Sri Lanka a fresh grant of 2 billion yuan ($295 million), as Beijing looks to expand its influence in the tiny island country off India’s southern tip.

Dealers have said the grant, announced on 21 July, helped ease the pressure on the currency.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor, Indrajit Coomaraswamy, had said earlier that the rupee’s decline was driven mainly by factors outside of Sri Lanka, and that emerging-market currencies were under pressure.

Foreign investors sold government securities worth a net Rs. 1.98 billion ($12.4 million) in the week ended 18 July, bringing the outflows so far this year to Rs. 31.6 billion, Central Bank data showed.


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