January 4, 2018 / 12:02 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends higher on exporter dollar sales

COLOMBO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed slightly firmer on Thursday, as conversion of the U.S. currency by exporters surpassed mild demand for dollars from importers, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 153.60/70 per dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 153.70/80.

The currency fell 2.5 percent last year and 3.9 percent in 2016.

“Today there were some exporter conversions and the import demand was mild,” said a currency dealer.

Pressure on the currency from imports is expected to prevail until the central bank sorts out new regulations for derivatives, which has slowed forward trading in the currency, dealers said.

The central bank, while announcing its key economic policies for the year, said it has allowed for more flexibility in determining the exchange rate based on market conditions.

It has intervened only to smoothen rupee volatility and to build up reserves, the banking regulator said. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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