COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan rupee fell slightly in thin trade yesterday as importer dollar demand surpassed sales of the U.S. currency by banks, dealers said. The spot rupee was at 153.25/35 per dollar as of 0627 GMT, compared with Thursday’s close of 153.20/30. “There is very dull trade and there is no big movement. But we expect the CPC (Ceylon Petroleum Corporation) to come in (during) the latter part of the day with persistent oil demand for thermal power generation due to drought,” a currency dealer said, requesting anonymity.
Sri Lanka’s hydro electricity generation has dropped due to a prolonged drought and the island nation has had to rely on thermal power, the generation of which requires importing diesel that is usually paid for in dollars. Sri Lankan shares were up 0.58 percent at 6,444.99 as of 0632 GMT, a day after the country’s junior finance minister said that concerns about a possible tax on share trading would be addressed. Turnover stood at Rs.360.2 million.