Rupee ends firmer as exporters sell dollar

Tuesday, 6 March 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: The Sri Lankan rupee ended firmer yesterday as dollar selling by exporters and banks outpaced demand for the greenback from importers, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 154.95/155.00 per dollar, compared with 2 March’s (Friday) close of 155.15/25.

The rupee hit a record low of 155.90 per dollar on 14 February.

“There were some inflows today after the weekend and there was not much of demand pressure also,” said a dealer.

The local currency has weakened 1% so far this year, after declining 2.5% last year and 3.9% in 2016.

It is expected to be pressured by continued importer demand for dollars ahead of the traditional New Year in April, dealers said.

Gradual depreciation in the rupee and higher volatility are expected this year on account of debt repayments by the government, dealers added.

The government must repay an estimated Rs. 1.97 trillion ($12.68 billion) in 2018 - a record high - including $2.9 billion of foreign loans and a total of $5.36 billion in interest.

Foreign investors sold government securities worth a net Rs. 3.2 billion in the week ended 28 February, Central Bank data showed.