Sri Lankan 5-day rupee forwards steady on state bank dollar sales
Sri Lankan five-day rupee forwards were steady on select dollar trades by a state-run bank seeking to offset demand by importers for the greenback, even as investors eyed the central bank’s monetary policy for clarity on key policy rates, dealers said. Dealers also said they were analysing the impact of a move by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake last week asking exporters to repatriate export earnings received on or after April 1 to improve foreign exchange inflows. The central bank is expected to keep rates steady at its April monetary policy announcement later in the day, a Reuters poll showed, but a surprise hike is not ruled out as five out of 11 analysts expect it to raise the rates to keep government borrowing in check through tighter financing conditions. The five-day forwards, which are known as spot next and act as a proxy for the spot currency, were trading at 146.40/70 at 0602 GMT compared with Monday’s close of 146.40/60. “The demand (for dollars) is there but a state bank is selling (dollars) at 145.70 to select trades,” said a currency dealer, requesting not to be named.