September 4, 2015 / 7:43 AM / 2 years ago

Sri Lankan rupee falls over 3 pct to record low; shares weaker

COLOMBO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee fell more than 3 percent to a record low of 139.00 per dollar on Friday after the central bank effectively floated the currency by ceasing to quote its own reference rate.

Currency dealers said the rupee stabilised at 137.50 per dollar after the central bank intervened at 139.00 levels.

The slide comes amid weakness in emerging markets triggered by a devaluation of the Chinese yuan.

It came with a delay, though, after the central bank supported the rupee before and after the general election on Aug. 17 that was won by a pro-reform coalition.

The rupee has fallen 5.6 percent so far this year against the U.S. currency, and the central bank’s move came a day after it received $1.1 billion from a $1.5 billion swap agreement with the Reserve Bank of India.

Sri Lankan shares were trading weaker in dull trade on Friday amid concerns that a rise in interest rates could turn investors away from stocks and into fixed income assets, brokers said.

The main stock index was 0.13 percent, or 9.70 points, weaker at 7,235.80 at 0615 GMT.

Turnover was 284.8 million rupees ($2.06 million).

“Market is down with very low activity,” said Dimantha Mathew, a research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Results of the weekly t-bill auction on Wednesday showed yields on short-term government securities rose between 20 and 26 basis points, with the benchmark 91-day t-bill yield hitting a more than five-month high of 6.79 percent. ($1 = 138.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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