The rupee lost a little ground on Monday (16) closing at Rs. 127.80/128.20 against the greenback on ‘surprising importer demand’ after opening at Rs. 127.00/50, currency dealers said.
During the morning, the rupee had gained to around Rs. 126.80/127.00 levels against the dollar before import demand drove it down to the closing levels.
"Importer demand was surprisingly high today, which was something we had not expected," a currency dealer said.
Treasury and Central Bank officials in recent weeks have said that the rupee would gain to around Rs. 125 levels against the dollar after the festive season with import demand expected to subside.
Meanwhile, both indices on the Colombo Stock Exchange gained on Monday (16) after the long weekend.
The All Share Price Index gained 0.17 percent, up 9.07 points to close at 5,434.80 and the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed 0.41 percent higher, gaining 20.26 points, to close at 4,929.56.
The Colombo bourse has fallen 10.53 percent year-to-date.
Turnover amounted to Rs. 206 million on a volume of a little more than eight million shares changing hands with 82 counters closing in positive territory and 82 closing in the red.
There was a net foreign outflow amounting to Rs. 33.17 million during the day.
"The indices rose marginally in the first day of trading post the New Year holidays amid below average turnover levels, dominated by trades on diversified counters including a large trade on JKH," John Keells Stockbrokers said.
JKH shares gained 0.14 percent to close at 209.70 with 517,311 shares changing hands during the day.