Rupee up on exporter, bank demand

Saturday, 30 June 2012 02:42 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: The Sri Lankan rupee edged higher on Friday a day after it hit a record low, as exporters and a state bank sold dollars to buy the local currency in thin trade, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 133.50/70 to the dollar, a tad firmer from Thursday’s close of 133.80/90. It hit a fresh record low of 134.30 on Thursday, and has fallen 1.57% since June 18.

Analysts have said the central bank had been buying dollars heavily to meet a June-end reserve target set by the International Monetary Fund for the last tranche of a $2.6 billion loan. The central bank on Friday said it had met all IMF targets.

The rupee has lost 17.4% of its value since November, when the government allowed a 3% devaluation. The sharp fall of the currency drove the island nation’s annual inflation rate to a 41-month high in June.

The Colombo Stock Exchange’s main index edged up 0.2% or 9.86 points to 4,965.77, gaining from its lowest since June 14.

Turnover was 218.7 million Sri Lanka rupees ($1.63 million),  well below this year’s daily average turnover of 981.9 million rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 7.15 million rupees worth of shares on Friday, extending the net inflow so far this year to 23.14 billion rupees.