November 15, 2018 / 6:42 AM / 25 days ago

Sri Lanka rupee hits record low of 176.80 vs dollar- sources

COLOMBO, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee barrelled down again on Thursday, hitting a new record-low as a political crisis deepened after President Maithripala Sirisena said he will not accept a no confidence vote against recently appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa and his government was passed in parliament on Wednesday, with the backing of 122 lawmakers from the 225-member legislature. However, Sirisena said he could not accept the vote as it appeared to have ignored the constitution.

Market sources said the uncertainty eclipsed any positive impact on the currency stemming the central bank’s surprise policy rate hike on Wednesday.

The currency hit 176.80 versus the dollar, having touched 176.60 the previous day. It has fallen over 14 percent so far this year, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

The sources said exporters were not converting dollars due to the political turmoil, which is drying up dollar liquidity in the market.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the presidential decree to dissolve parliament and hold elections. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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