September 29, 2017 / 11:41 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee edges up on inward dollar remittances

COLOMBO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed slightly firmer on Friday as dollar sales by banks due to inward remittances surpassed demand for the U.S. currency from importers to pay for their purchases, dealers said.

The spot rupee, which traded at 153.19 per dollar earlier in the day, recovered to close at 153.05/12, compared with Thursday’s closing level of 153.10/20.

“There was importer demand, but being the month-end we saw some remittance flow, which strengthened the rupee,” said a currency dealer who did not wish to be named.

The rupee has been under pressure since January after the central bank stopped defending the currency and started buying dollars to build up the country’s depleted foreign currency reserves.

The island nation has seen 18 billion rupees ($117.61 million) of net inflows into equities this year as of Friday’s close, and 17.3 billion rupees worth inflows into government securities as of Sept. 20 this year, official data showed. ($1 = 153.0500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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