COLOMBO, June 27 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly weaker on Friday on importer dollar demand, while the central bank curbed the fall by moral suasion, dealers said.
The rupee ended weaker at 130.30/35 per dollar, weaker from Thursday’s close of 130.28/30. It hit a more-than-three-week closing low of 130.34/38 on Wednesday.
“There was demand from importers. The central bank did not allow the rupee to be traded above 130.33 per dollar,” a currency dealer said, asking not to be named.
Officials at the central bank were not immediately available for comment.
Dealers expect the currency to trade in a range of 130.40 to 130.50 in the near future due to expected importer dollar demand, but then to gain due to inflows.
Some dealers expect the rupee to face downward pressure due to continued imports and if the United States finds the island nation breaching its sanctions laws after the government spokesman revealed the country had imported Iranian crude via third parties.
Currency dealers said it was too early to speculate about the implications of the country breaching U.S. sanctions. However, it has been a relief for the market so far that nothing has happened on this issue, they added.
Dealers expect the currency to be stable if there is no pressure from oil import bills due to rising exports and a fall in imports and private-sector credit growth. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)