August 31, 2017 / 12:03 PM / in a year

Sri Lankan rupee ends firmer as bank dollar sales offset demand

COLOMBO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended firmer on Thursday as exporter and bank dollar sales outpaced importer demand for the U.S currency, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 152.70/75 per dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 152.80/90.

“State banks were on the offer today and they sold some dollars. There was some demand from small local banks to cover import bills,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity.

The rupee has been under pressure since January after the central bank stopped defending the currency and started buying dollars to build up the country’s depleted foreign currency reserves.

The island nation has seen 27.5 billion rupees ($180.09 million) of net inflow into equities up to Thursday’s close, and 5.7 billion rupees worth inflows into government securities as of Aug. 23, official data showed.

$1 = 152.7000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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