COLOMBO Jan 10 The Sri Lankan rupee closed at its 2-1/2-month high on Friday as exporters sold dollars to minimise possible losses in the event of an appreciation in the local currency due to inflows from a $1 billion sovereign bond issue next week, dealers said.
The spot rupee ended at 130.60/70 per dollar, its highest close since Oct. 24 and up from Thursday's close of 130.68/75.
Currency dealers said sentiment was positive due to an expected $1 billion inflow next week from a bond issue.
The rupee is likely to appreciate in the near term due to the inflows, dealers said, but gains would depend on whether the central bank wanted to buy the inflows to build up its reserves or increase dollar liquidity in the market.
The central bank said on Jan. 2 it expected the rupee to strengthen in the medium term and any direct intervention in the foreign exchange market would be minimum.
The rupee has gained about 3.4 percent since it hit a record low of 135.20 on Aug. 28. It lost 2.5 percent in 2013. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)