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Sri Lankan rupee ends steady on dollar selling by banks

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COLOMBO, April 21 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed steady on Friday as dollar selling late in the day by local banks offset importer demand for the U.S. currency earlier in the session, dealers said.

Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards closing steady at 153.10/25 per dollar.

It fell to 153.30/45 earlier in the day.

"There were some dollar sales by local banks possibly from equity-related inflows and some banks want to take positions in the local currency," said a currency dealer who requested anonymity.

Dealers said the market was waiting for inflows from an up to $1.5 billion borrowing through a sovereign bond issue.

The island nation has received dollar inflows since the beginning of April, with foreign investors buying equities and government securities.

Foreign investors have net bought equities worth a net 11.77 billion during the last 21 sessions, taking the year-to-date net foreign inflow into shares to 14.27 billion rupees.

They also net bought government securities worth 1.87 billion rupees in the week ended April 12, although they have net sold 62 billion rupees worth of government bonds so far this year. ($1 = 152.0000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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