December 9, 2016 / 7:01 AM / 3 years ago

Sri Lanka rupee steady; exporter dollar sales offset bank demand

COLOMBO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee traded steady on Friday as exporter dollar sales offset demand for the greenback from state banks, dealers said.

Rupee forwards were active, while spot-next forwards were trading at 148.90/95 per dollar, unchanged from Thursday’s close.

“The (dollar) selling is there, exporter selling is there, but the rupee is not appreciating as state banks are buying,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity.

On Tuesday, the central bank raised the spot reference rate by 20 cents to 147.50 per dollar, dealers added.

The spot rupee was hardly traded, but was quoted at 148.20/50.

Pressure on the rupee is expected to ease when seasonal inward remittances begin and importer dollar demand weakens ahead of the year-end festival season, but demand from the state banks is holding the rupee steady, dealers said.

However, a few dealers expect the rupee to be under pressure on fears that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s economic policies will lead to a stronger greenback and trigger foreign fund outflows.

Foreign investors have net sold 42.1 billion rupees worth of government securities in the seven weeks ended Nov. 30, ahead of an expected Fed rate hike in December.

Sri Lankan shares were down 0.08 percent at 6,332.84 as of 0648 GMT. Turnover stood at 280.7 million rupees ($1.89 million). ($1 = 148.2000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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