Rupee at 1-year peak; Stocks dip from 7-week high

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 02:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: The Sri Lankan rupee edged up to its strongest close in a year on Tuesday on dollar inflows from inward remittances and exporter conversions ahead of the traditional new year, dealers said.

The rupee edged up to 125.45/50 to the dollar, its highest close since April 9, 2012, from Monday’s close of 125.50/55.

“Inflows from inward remittances and exporter conversions continue because of the upcoming new year festival,” said a currency dealer on condition of anonymity.

Most Sri Lankans will celebrate the traditional new year on April 13 and April 14.

The currency has risen 1.6 percent this year after falling 10.7 percent in 2012.

The main stock index ended down 0.17 percent, or 9.78 points, at 5,767.60, retreating from a 7-week closing high hit in the previous session.

Analysts said the market could see a rise this week after Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera on Tuesday said Sri Lanka’s interest rates should fall in May-June as the borrowing needs of loss-making state energy firms recede.

Turnover was at a near two-week low of 399 million rupees, less than half of this year’s daily average of 1 billion rupees as many investors were on holiday ahead of the traditional new year.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 112.2 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 5.96 billion rupees ($47.45 million). Last year, the bourse saw a net inflow of $303 million.