November 28, 2017 / 11:29 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends weaker on importer dollar demand

COLOMBO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed slightly weaker on Tuesday, as dollar demand from importers outpaced inflows of the U.S. currency from inward remittances, dealers said.

The spot rupee closed at 153.73/80 per dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 153.63/70.

“Today, there were demand (for dollars) from a foreign bank for a construction-related demand and also we saw some demand for oil bills,” said a currency dealer who declined to be named.

The rupee has lost 2.8 percent so far this year, and dealers say it is expected to face pressure with imports of more low-end vehicles, on which the government has already reduced taxes.

The government imposed new taxes on high-end vehicles, telecoms, banks and liquor in a bid to boost revenues in its 2018 budget presented earlier this month.

Foreign investors net bought equities worth 18.4 billion rupees ($119.67 million) this year as of Tuesday’s close. They net bought government securities worth 46.7 billion rupees as of Nov. 22, official data showed. ($1 = 153.7500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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