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Sri Lankan rupee edges down on importer dollar demand; shares fall

COLOMBO, Oct 19 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee traded slightly weaker on Monday in dull trade due to importer dollar demand, while banks’ greenback sales helped prevent the local currency from falling further, dealers said.

The rupee was trading at 141.00/141.05 per dollar by 0821 GMT, slightly weaker from Friday’s close of 140.92/97.

"The rupee is under pressure with heavy government spending on top of export sector not growing," said a currency dealer who asked not to be named.

The rupee hit a record low of 141.40 per dollar on Sept. 28, but recovered slightly after a state-run bank sold dollars.

Dealers said importer dollar demand has fallen following government measures to discourage vehicle imports but the seasonal imports are expected to pick up.

Sri Lanka’s main stock index was 0.06 percent, or 3.94 points, weaker at 7,016.80 at 0808 GMT, hitting a more than three-month low. Turnover was 552.7 million rupees ($3.9 million).

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