December 28, 2017 / 11:40 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee falls 0.8 pct on heavy dollar demand

COLOMBO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed lower on Thursday as demand for dollars from importers and banks outweighed inward remittances and conversion of the U.S. currency by exporters, dealers said.

The spot rupee, which traded at 152.30/40 during the day, ended at 153.50/70 per dollar, a move of 0.8 percent compared with Wednesday’s close of 152.45/55.

“It was a vibrant market today, there were some inward remittances and exporter conversions in the morning but there was huge demand today, both from importers and for some payments, maybe repatriation of profits and some corporate loan payment,” said a currency dealer.

The rupee has lost 2.5 percent so far this year, but currency dealers say dollar demand has slightly waned, lending support to the domestic currency.

The country’s central bank said on Tuesday it had received $292.1 million in first payment from the leasing of Sri Lanka’s main southern port to China Merchant Port Holdings. ($1 = 152.3500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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