June 18, 2018 / 12:08 PM / 9 months ago

Sri Lankan rupee holds steady near record low

COLOMBO, June 18 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady on Monday, near the record low hit in the previous session, as dollar demand from importers offset the U.S. currency sales by exporters, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 159.75/90 per dollar, lower than Thursday’s close of 159.70/90. The rupee hit an all-time low of 160.00 per dollar on Thursday. The markets were closed for a holiday on Friday.

The currency has declined 4.2 percent this year.

“Today it was a dull day and we did not see dollar demand. We saw a state bank selling dollars at 159.90,” a currency dealer said.

Dealers say they expect the rupee to trade in the 163-165 range by end of the year.

Foreign investors sold government securities worth a net 2.7 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($16.9 million) in the week ended June 13, bringing the outflows so far this year to 22.6 billion rupees, central bank data showed.

Sri Lanka’s economy grew 3.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, slowing from 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, the state-run Department of Census and Statistics said after the market closed.

$1 = 159.8000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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