Rupee hits record low for 10th session on importer dollar demand

Tuesday, 4 September 2018 00:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: The rupee fell to an all-time low on Monday, marking a 10th straight session of setting fresh troughs, as importer dollar demand surpassed mild selling of the greenback by exporters, dealers said.

The rupee, which hit a record low of 161.65 early in the trade, closed at 161.60/70 per dollar, compared with Friday’s close of 161.40/50.

The local currency surpassed its earlier record of 161.55 hit in the previous session. The rupee declined 1.2% last month, and dropped 5.3% so far this year. “Dollar demand was there. Foreign banks were on the buying side, and there was not much of remittance flow,” a dealer said, requesting anonymity.

The rupee will be under depreciation pressure with the year-end seasonal importer demand, dealers said. Absence of dollar conversions by exporters and outflows from equities and government securities also pushed the rupee lower, analysts said.

Exporters are holding on to dollars as they expect the local currency to decline further, dealers said.

The Sri Lankan currency is also hurt by weakness in the Indian rupee. 

“With the Indian rupee and regional currencies under pressure, the Sri Lankan rupee will also be under pressure,” the dealer added.

India is Sri Lanka’s biggest trading partner and the country’s currency, which hit a record low on Monday, has been one of the worst performers in Asia this year.

Foreign investors bought government securities worth a net Rs. 578.3 million ($ 3.58 million) in the week ended 29 August, first time buying since April. However, they have net sold Rs. 46.9 billion worth of securities so far this year, Central Bank data showed.