November 2, 2017 / 12:30 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee edges up on remittances ahead of long weekend

COLOMBO, Nov 2 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly firmer on Thursday, snapping a three-session losing streak, as inflows from remittances ahead of a long weekend outpaced importer dollar demand, dealers said.

Trading was, however, dull and the currency still faced depreciation pressure on expected demand for the U.S. currency from importers, they said.

The spot rupee, which was traded at 153.69 per dollar, closed at 153.60/70, slightly higher from Wednesday’s close of 153.65/72.

“The remittances helped the currency to end a bit firmer. But the downward pressure is still there as the imports are very high in November,” a currency dealer said, asking not to be named.

He said the market is also waiting for direction from the national budget, which will be presented next week.

“All depend on what the government is trying to do with relaxing taxes on vehicles. If they relax, there could be more imports of vehicles and dollar outflows,” the currency dealer said.

The rupee has slipped 2.64 percent so far this year.

The island nation has seen 20.4 billion rupees ($132.86 ($131.8 million) worth net inflows into equities this year as of Thursday’s close, and 41.1 billion rupees into government securities as of Oct. 25, official data showed.

Sri Lanka’s currency and stock markets are closed for a Buddhist holiday on Friday. ($1 = 153.5500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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