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Sri Lankan rupee inches down on import demand; stocks up

COLOMBO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee edged down on Monday as importer dollar demand outpaced mild exporter sales of the greenback, dealers said.

The rupee was at 141.10/20 per dollar at 0607 GMT, compared with Friday’s close of 141.05/10.

Dealers expect the local currency to be under pressure due to an increase in importer demand for the U.S. currency and lower exporter conversions.

"It is a quite market because of the holiday on Tuesday. We hear some fund raising by the central bank is on the card. So the market it waiting to see if there is going to be some strong inflows," a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity.

Both currency and stock markets will be closed for a Buddhist religious holiday on Tuesday.

Analysts expect Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to increase import taxes when he presents the 2016 budget scheduled on Nov. 20, to reduce dollar outflows out of the country.

Apart from imports, heavy government spending is also putting pressure on the rupee, the dealers said.

Sri Lanka’s main stock index was up 0.07 percent at 7,086.61 at 0652 GMT. Turnover was 199 million rupees
 (Colombo/October 26 2015)

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