COLOMBO, March 31 The Sri Lankan rupee traded
stronger on Friday helped by inward remittances and selling of
the greenback by exporters ahead of the festival season, dealers
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
trading at 152.35/55 per dollar at 0615 GMT compared to
Thursday's close of 152.55/65.
"There are lot of conversions by exporters ... may be to pay
the salaries and bonuses. The (inward) remittance flow is also
high," said a currency dealer who did not wish to be named.
The rupee has been under pressure due to dollar demand to
meet increased seasonal imports ahead of the traditional new
year that is celebrated on April 13-14, dealers said.
The central bank on Monday raised the spot rupee
reference rate by 10 cents to 151.70. It had raised the
reference rate by 25 cents on March 20.
The central bank raised interest rates for the first time in
eight months on March 24, saying tighter policy was a precaution
against a build-up of inflationary pressures.
Analysts said the rate hike, a move that was also aimed at
easing pressure on the rupee, could help stabilise the domestic
currency that has been hurt by rising imports and outflows due
to rupee bond sales by foreign investors.
Foreign investors net bought government securities worth 70
million rupees ($461,285) in the week ended March 22, but they
have net sold 63.2 billion rupees of such instruments so far
Sri Lankan shares were up 0.4 percent at 6,064.61 as
of 0617 GMT. Turnover stood at 1.07 billion rupees ($7.05
($1 = 151.7000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas