Sri Lankan rupee end marginally lower, spot freely traded

COLOMBO, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker for a second straight session on Tuesday as seasonal demand for dollar from importers outpaced greenback sales by exporters and banks, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 146.45/50 per dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 146.35/45.

The spot-next forwards ended at 146.48/58 compared to the previous close of 146.38/48, and edged down from Friday’s close of 146.30/40.

"There were little remittances and foreign buying into government securities. These inflows were not enough to meet the importer dollar demand," a currency dealer said, asking not to be named.

The spot rupee is usually managed by the central bank and market participants use the forward market levels for guidance on the currency.

Sri Lanka’s central bank is expected to keep its key interest rates steady on Wednesday, after cutting three times since December to fend off pressure on the fragile rupee and curb accelerating credit growth that has pushed up inflation.

The central bank is also under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue to rebuild international reserves and maintain exchange rate flexibility to further develop the foreign exchange market.

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