April 19, 2017 / 7:00 AM / 9 months ago

Sri Lankan rupee edges down on importer dollar demand

COLOMBO, April 19 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee traded slightly weaker on Wednesday on high dollar demand from importers and low supply of the greenback, dealers said.

Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards trading at 153.25/35 per dollar at 0625 GMT, compared with Wednesday’s close of 152.15/25.

“There is some importer (dollar buying) and we do not see much supply in the market,” said a currency dealer who requested anonymity.

Another dealer said the market was largely quiet, but there is heavy demand for dollars from importers running high trade bills.

The market has not seen much of an impact from a 25 basis point policy rate hike last month, dealers added.

However, the island nation has seen some inflows from early this month with foreign investors buying equities and government securities.

Overseas investors have net bought 5.4 billion rupees ($35.53 million) worth of equities in the last 18 consecutive sessions through Tuesday.

Offshore investors also net bought government securities worth 1.87 billion rupees in the week ended April 12. However, they have been net sellers to the tune of 62 billion rupees worth of government bonds so far this year.

Sri Lankan shares were up 0.9 percent at 6,438.31 , hovering around its highest since Nov. 8, as of 0640 GMT. Turnover stood at 283.7 million rupees ($1.87 million). ($1 = 152.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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