(Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended marginally lower on Thursday as mild dollar demand from importers outpaced sales of the greenback by exporters, dealers said.
Inward dollar remittances before the start of the festival eased some of the pressure on the local currency, they added.
The rupee ended at 143.20/30 per dollar compared with Wednesday’s close of 143.18/22.
“We were expecting the rupee to come down but looks like some (dollar) demand is building up,” said a currency dealer, asking not to be named.
“It looks like it’ll stay around 143.15 to 143.30.”
Inward remittances for the festival season starting mid-December would take some pressure off rupee in the short term, dealers said.
The central bank conducted a repo auction on Tuesday, the second straight day since Feb. 27, to absorb excess rupee liquidity and ease pressure on the exchange rate.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week warned of pressure on the currency due to a China-led global slowdown and a possible rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Commercial banks parked 94.384 billion rupees ($659.34 million) of surplus liquidity on Thursday using the central bank’s deposit facility at 6%, official data showed.