COLOMBO, April 17 The Sri Lankan rupee ended
firmer in thin trade on Monday as foreign banks sold the dollar,
with importers staying away after an extended weekend to
celebrate the traditional new year, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
closing at 152.95/153.10 per dollar, compared with the previous
Wednesday's close of 153.50/60.
The country's foreign exchange and stock markets were closed
for the Sinhala-Tamil new year holiday on Thursday and Friday.
"The market is still dull as a lot of corporates are not
active after the new year holidays. We see some dollar sales
from foreign banks in the absence of importer dollar demand,"
said a currency dealer who did not want to be named.
The dollar selling could be due to buying of local
government securities or equities by foreign investors, other
dealers said. Foreign investors have net bought 5.22 billion
rupees ($34.3 million) worth of equities in the last 16
Foreign investors net bought government securities worth
1.87 billion rupees ($12.32 million) in the week ended April 12.
They have however net sold 62 billion rupees worth of such
instruments so far this year.
($1 = 151.8000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)