Ru­pee ends down on dol­lar de­mand from oil im­porters

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - BUSINESS NEWS -

REUTERS: The Sri Lankan ru­pee ended weaker yes­ter­day as banks bought dol­lars on be­half of staterun Cey­lon Petroleum Corp, which stocked up crude ahead of an ex­pected fuel price hike, deal­ers said.

The spot ru­pee ended at 153.50/60 per dol­lar, edg­ing down from Tues­day’s close of 153.43/48.

“State banks were buy­ing dol­lars mainly for oil im­ports. As the fuel price is ex­pected to rise soon, there is a dol­lar de­mand for oil im­ports. We also saw some de­mand from con­struc­tion-re­lated im­ports,” said a cur­rency dealer who re­quested anonymity.

“Going for­ward, we see im­ports to pick up with year-end sea­sonal de­mand.”

Crude prices are ex­pected to rise in the coun­try after pri­vate fuel re­tailer Lanka IOC in­formed lo­cal me­dia it is likely to in­crease rates as they have been sell­ing at a loss.

The ru­pee has been un­der pres­sure since Jan­uary after the Cen­tral Bank stopped de­fend­ing the cur­rency and started buy­ing the dol­lar to build the coun­try’s de­pleted for­eign cur­rency re­serves.

The is­land na­tion saw Rs.20.4 bil­lion of net in­flows into eq­ui­ties this year as of yes­ter­day’s close, and Rs.31.1 bil­lion worth in­flows into gov­ern­ment se­cu­ri­ties as of Oc­to­ber 4, of­fi­cial data showed.

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