January 20, 2017 / 12:11 PM / 3 years ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends firmer in dull trade

COLOMBO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly higher on Friday due to dollar selling by exporters in shortened trade, dealers said.

Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards ending at 150.85/00 per dollar, firmer from Thursday’s close of 151.00/10.

The spot rupee was quoted around the central bank’s reference level of 150.15, dealers said.

“It was a dull day and not much happened,” a currency dealer said asking not to be named.

The banks closed during the latter half of the day to mark a Hindu religious holiday that fell during the previous weekend.

The rupee has been under pressure due to rising imports and net selling of government securities by foreign investors, and a central bank decision to adjust the spot rupee reference rate to a record low of 150.15 rupees to the dollar.

Officials from the central bank were not immediately available for comment.

Sri Lanka’s central bank sold $233 million worth development bonds on Thursday, and investors say they expect that to ease some pressure on the rupee.

The rupee has also been under pressure due to selling of government bonds by foreign investors.

Foreign investors have net sold 16.1 billion rupees ($107.3 million) worth government securities in the week to Jan. 11, according to the latest central bank data. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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