COLOMBO, June 4 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady in dull trade on Monday after it hit a record low in the previous session, as dollar selling by banks offset importer demand for the greenback, dealers said.
The spot rupee ended at 158.50/60, little changed from Friday’s close of 158.50/70.
The currency hit an all-time low of 158.80 per dollar on Friday, surpassing its previous low of 158.50 hit on May 16.
The currency has declined 3.3 percent so far this year.
“It was a dull day today; we have seen some (dollar) selling by a state bank, probably selling their own positions,” a currency dealer said.
Dealers said the rupee will be under pressure with exporters staying on the sidelines in anticipation of a fall in the unit, in line with other emerging market currencies.
The pressure on the currency is unwarranted as gross external reserves are at $9.1 billion and the real effective exchange rate indexes indicate that the currency is competitive, the central bank has said.
Foreign investors sold government securities worth a net 787.24 million rupees ($4.97 million) in the week ended May 30, bringing the outflow so far this year to 17 billion rupees, central bank data showed. ($1 = 158.5500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)