June 21, 2017 / 11:36 AM / 3 months ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends steady; importer dollar demand weighs

COLOMBO, June 21 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady on Wednesday as exporter dollar sales offset demand for the greenback from importers, which weighed on the spot currency.

The spot rupee, which traded for a third straight session after being inactive for six weeks, ended at 153.30/35 per dollar, steady from Tuesday’s close of 153.30/40.

The spot rupee started trading on Monday for the first time since May 5 when the central bank had fixed its reference rate at 152.50.

“The demand was there, but today there was some selling as well,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity.

Dealers said they expect seasonal demand for dollars to pick up from August.

The central bank has set a target of $1.2 billion in direct market purchases of dollars to boost the island nation’s reserves this year, mainly to achieve a target set by the International Monetary Fund in return for a three-year $1.5 billion loan. ($1 = 153.2500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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