Rupee Ends Higher At 66.96 Against Dollar

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Mumbai: Rising for a second straight day, the rupee firmed up by six paise to close at 66.96 against the dollar due to sustained selling of the greenback from exporters amid a weak tone overseas.

The local currency largely withstood the initial implied volatility in the face of month-end demand for the American currency from importers and staged a recovery towards the fag-end of the trade.

Robust foreign capital inflows into upbeat domestic equity markets on the back of better macro fundamentals also helped the rupee to gain, a forex dealer said.

However, the upmove was capped due to some caution ahead of the gross domestic product (GDP) data release for the June quarter and fiscal deficit data later, he added.

The home currency opened substantially weak at 67.10 from Tuesday’s close of 67.02 at the interbank foreign exchange (forex) market and advanced further to 67.11 due to fresh dollar demand.

But later it regained strength to hit an intra-day high of 66.95 before ending at 66.96, showing a modest rise of six paise, or 0.09 per cent.

It had gained 16 paise to close at 67.02 overnight – its highest level in a month.

In the meantime, the US dollar turned a little softer against most of the major and emerging market currencies on some profit-taking ahead of Friday’s US jobs report.

The dollar hit a one-month high against the yen on Wednesday.

Hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other central bank speakers last Friday have lifted expectations that it will raise rates this year.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.115 per cent at 96.16 in early trade.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 390.63 crore on Tuedsay, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.

The Reserve Bank of India fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 66.9813 and the euro at 74.6239.

In cross-currency trades, the rupee weakened against the pound sterling to settle at 87.93 from 87.83 and also fell back against the Japanese yen to finish at 66.78 compared to 65.48 per 100 yens the previous day.

The home unit, however remained firm against the euro to close at 74.55 from 74.84 earlier.

Meanwhile, the bullish momentum remained unabated for a third straight session led by gains in banking and capital goods stocks with the flagship Sensex rallying 109.16 points to end at 28,452.17, while the Nifty rose 41.85 points to 8,786.20.

In the forward market, premium for dollar decline owing to sustained receipts by exporters.

The benchmark six-month premium for January moved down to 161.5-163.5 paise from 163-165 paise and the forward July 2017 contract also fell to 352-354 paise from 355-357 paise the previous day.

Crude prices dropped to near two-week low due to supply overhang ahead of the latest US weekly oil stockpiles data release later in the day amid fading expectations of production curb from OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) at their September meet.

PTI

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