COLOMBO, June 27 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee traded slightly weaker on Friday as importer dollar demand offset inflows from remittances and exporter conversions, dealers said.
The rupee was traded at 130.30/35 per dollar at 0649 GMT, a little weaker than Thursday’s close of 130.28/30. It hit a more than three-week low close of 130.34/38 on Wednesday.
“There is not much activity. But there was some importer dollar demand,” a currency dealer said, asking not to be named.
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 the oil import bills due to rising exports and a fall in imports and private-sector credit growth.
Sri Lanka’s main stock index traded 0.01 percent or 0.83 points firmer at 6,39002 at 0651 GMT. The turnover was 576.7 million Sri Lanka rupees ($4.43 million), with 51.7 million shares changing hands. ($1 = 130.2000 Sri Lankan Rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)