Sri Lankan rupee stable in lackluster trade; stock up

COLOMBO, May 10 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee held steady in lackluster trading on Tuesday, traders said, adding that expected inflows in the near future would likely help ease downward pressure on the currency local.

A loan deal with the International Monetary Fund and a likely $1.5 billion near-term bond issue helped bolster confidence in the currency, dealers said.

The benchmark spot rupee rate stood at 145.70, dealers said.

The banking regulator had set the spot trading rate at 143.90 to the dollar until May 2, they said. Central bank officials were unavailable to say whether it had intervened in the foreign exchange market.

“Nothing is happening so far, it’s been a very boring day,” said a forex trader, asking not to be named.

Trading in the spot currency has been intermittent since Jan. 27 and on Tuesday the spot price was barely offered, but some movement in the short-term dollar/rupee futures indicated the rupee was trading thin.

The next dollar/rupee forward was at 146.15/30 to the dollar at 05:07 GMT, down from Monday’s close of 146.15/20 to the dollar.

The following spot, which acts as a proxy for the spot currency, shows the exchange rate the day after conventional spot settlement and was three days ahead for Tuesday’s trade.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s stock market was 0.07% firmer at 6,599.46 at 0518 GMT on a turnover of 86.7 million rupees ($594,854.20).

$1 = 145.7500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi

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