Sri Lankan rupee firmer on bank selling; stocks up

(Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee was firmer on Thursday as banks’ dollar sales surpassed importer demand for the greenback, dealers said.

The rupee traded at 141.20/25 per dollar at 0648 GMT, edging up from Wednesday’s close of 141.25/30.

"The importer demand is mild today and the rupee is firmer as there are some inflows to banks," a dealer said on condition of anonymity.

The rupee hit its record low of 141.40 per dollar on Monday, but it slightly recovered following one of the two state-run banks, through which the central bank directs the market, sold the dollars and kept the rupee steady for the last two days.

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said on Monday the rupee is "fairly valued" and expected it to stabilise only after a rate increase by the U.S. Federal Reserve, likely by year-end.

The rupee has fallen 4.7 percent since the central bank effectively floated it on Sept. 4.

Sri Lanka’s main stock index was up 0.35 percent at 7,075.28 at 0652 GMT. Turnover was 1.34 billion rupees ($9.49 million). (COLOMBO, Oct 1/2015)

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