Sri Lankan rupee ends higher on bank dollar sales

COLOMBO, Oct 6 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee closed slightly firmer on Tuesday, as dollar selling by a private bank surpassed demand for the greenback by importers, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 141.05/141.10 per dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 141.24/28.

Dealers said the two state-run banks through which the central bank directs the market, were not seen selling dollars, but a local private bank sold the U.S. currency in early trade.

"The rupee ended firmer on bank dollar sales, but the moment the bank sales eased we have seen rupee under pressure with importer demand," said a dealer who declined to be identified.

The rupee hit a record low of 141.40 per dollar on Sept. 28, but has recovered over the past few days after a state-run bank sold dollars.

The finance ministry on Friday imposed a 100 percent margin on letters of credit for motor vehicles to discourage unnecessary imports, in a move to prevent dollar outflows and further weakening of the rupee.

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