COLOMBO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee bounced back from losses earlier in the session to end firmer on Monday, as selling of dollars by exporters late in the day surpassed buying of the U.S. currency by state-run banks, dealers said.
The spot rupee, which fell to as low as 153.35/40 in early trade, ended at 153.10/25 per dollar, up from Friday’s close of 153.33/38.
“There was some exporter (dollar) sales, but a state bank bought the dollars which prevented the rupee strengthening further,” a currency dealer said, requesting anonymity.
Dealers said the state-owned banks were buying dollars to pay for oil import bills, adding expected dollar inflows could help stabilise the rupee.
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. ($1 = 153.2500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)