* Rupee gains 0.6 pct; exporters, state bank buy currency
* State bank sells $3 million to support rupee
* Stocks slip on worries about further depreciation
COLOMBO, April 27 The Sri Lankan rupee
ended 0.6 percent firmer on Friday as exporters and a state bank
bought the currency a day after the central bank asked the
market to step in to help, dealers said.
The rupee ended at 129.90/130.00 against the dollar, up from
Thursday's close of 130.50/131.00, on thin volume, due to
lingering depreciation fears.
"Exporters sold dollars, while the market also saw a state
bank selling $3 million to the market, which helped the currency
to recover," a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity.
The rupee has recovered 2.7 percent since it hit an all-time
low of 133.50 on Wednesday.
On Thursday central bank officials at a meeting with
currency dealers had called for an end to speculation that it
said had hurt the currency and asked them to try to convince
exporters to convert their dollar holdings.
The rupee has depreciated 12 percent since the central bank
stopped intervening to defend a specific price on Feb. 9, and
15.1 percent from Nov. 19, when the government allowed a 3
The state-owned Bank of Ceylon on Thursday raised $500
million via a five-year bond at the tight end of the 6.875-7
The central bank said it expected the bond proceeds to
support the rupee, but traders were less optimistic.
The stock market edged down 0.08 percent, or 4.49 points, to
5,440.52 with investors worried about the rupee, rising interest
rates and slowing economic growth.
The day's turnover was 778.9 million rupees ($5.95 million),
well below this year's daily average of 1.2 billion rupees.
The market saw a foreign outflow of 44.8 million rupees, but
so far this year, foreign investors have been net buyers of 21.3
The Colombo bourse is one of the worst performing Asian
markets this year, losing 10.4 percent.
($1 = 130.8500 Sri Lanka rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Nick