October 29, 2018 / 5:18 AM / 23 days ago

Political crisis pushes Sri Lanka rupee to record low of 174.30 per dlr-sources

COLOMBO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee slumped to a record low on Monday as growing political turmoil sparked panic buying of U.S. dollars by importers, market sources said.

The currency slid to 174.30 per dollar, surpassing the previous record low of 173.08 hit on Friday. It closed at 173.05/20 per dollar on Friday.

Sri Lanka was plunged into crisis late on Friday after President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and swore in ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister to replace him.

The rupee has weakened 2.4 percent against the dollar so far this month, extending a 4.7 percent loss in September. It has depreciated 12.8 percent so far this year, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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