COLOMBO, April 12 The Sri Lankan rupee edged
down on Wednesday as importer dollar demand and dividend
payments outpaced mild inward remittances ahead of the
traditional new year holidays, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
trading at 153.35/50 per dollar at 0550 GMT, compared with
Tuesday's close of 153.30/45.
"Today we can see demand from small banks too. But
conversions are very less as most of the companies are closed
for the new year," said a currency dealer who requested
Sri Lanka will celebrate its traditional new year this week
and the markets will be closed on Thursday and Friday.
The rupee has been under pressure due to increased seasonal
imports ahead of the new year, although dealers expect the
pressure to ease with seasonal inward remittances.
Outflows due to rupee bond sales by foreign investors have
also been putting pressure on the currency.
Foreign investors net bought government securities worth
259.5 million rupees ($1.71 million) in the week ended April 5.
However, they net sold 63.9 billion rupees worth of such
instruments so far this year.
Sri Lankan shares were up 0.51 percent at 6,337.74 as
of 0551 GMT. Turnover stood at 1.03 billion rupees ($6.79
($1 = 151.6000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil