October 31, 2018 / 6:19 AM / 17 days ago

Political woes drag Sri Lanka rupee to record low -market sources

COLOMBO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee fell to a record low on Wednesday because of political uncertainty, market sources said.

The currency slid to 175.30 to the dollar, surpassing the previous record low of 174.750 hit on Tuesday. It closed at 174.60/80 per dollar on Tuesday.

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.

Since then, the rupee has fallen 1.3 percent. Wickremesinghe has challenged his dismissal as unconstitutional. “The market is still trying to digest the political crisis and nobody knows what is going to happen next,” said a market source.

The currency has weakened 3.7 percent against the dollar so far this month, extending a 4.7 percent loss in September. It has depreciated 14.2 percent so far this year, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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