Rupee ends steady near two-month high; State bank buys dollars

Saturday, 21 December 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady near its two-month high on Friday on inward remittances and exporter dollar sales even as a state bank bought dollars to curb any sharp appreciation in the local currency, dealers said. The spot rupee ended at Rs. 130.70/73 per dollar, its highest close since 25 October and firmer than Thursday’s close of Rs. 130.70/75. The currency has gained 0.14% this week. Dealers said one of the two state-run banks, through which the central bank usually directs the market, bought dollars at Rs. 130.70 in late trading. “There were ample dollars from exporter conversions and inward remittances. A state bank bought dollars, but we did not see it as a measure to defend the currency from appreciation,” said a currency dealer. Dealers said the rupee could be under pressure when demand for the dollars from importers picks up in January. They expect the currency to hover near the current level until the end of this year.Currency dealers said the rupee was facing upward pressure as expatriates were sending money to their families ahead of Christmas and New Year. The rupee has gained 3.4% since it hit a record low of Rs. 135.20 on 28 August.