Home Market Rupee recoups 15 paise to 66.75 against US dollar

Rupee recoups 15 paise to 66.75 against US dollar


After yesterday's rout, the rupee today staged a mild recovery to close 15 paise higher at 66.75 against the US dollar on bouts of American currency selling by exporters.

Overall, forex market sentiment remained subdued due to sustained rise in crude oil prices, stirring up more concerns over widening trade deficit.

"Weakness in USD amidst slight reversal in US treasury yields helped rupee recoup some losses, while firm equities also boosted sentiments. However, with FIIs continuing to be net sellers in Indian equities, and with fears of US sanctions on Iran keeping oil on the boil, rupee's weak bias could continue," Anand James, Chief Market strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said.

The rupee yesterday nosedived 52 paise to hit a 14-month low of 66.90 against the US dollar, the third biggest single-day fall for the domestic currency this year.

The Indian currency has been under steady pressure in recent weeks led by several factors, including a downturn in liquidity from domestic equities.

The rupee has depreciated by a steep 4.74 per cent this year so far after briefly revisiting a near 3-year high in early January.

The Indian currency showed much resilience and managed to trade higher throughout the day despite headwinds, though it gave back some early gains towards the fag-end.

In the meantime, the dollar was holding steady near three-and-a-half month highs against a basket of other major currencies, supported by higher Treasury yields as the US 10-year bond yield held above the 3 per cent level.

On the energy front, crude prices surged ahead largely due to growing concerns over supply disruptions in the Middle East and Venezuela.

Brent crude, an international benchmark, was trading higher at USD 74.08 a barrel in early Asian trade.

The rupee took off on a positive note at 66.86 from Wednesday's close of 66.90 at the inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market.

Maintaining its defensive against the dollar, the local unit strengthened to a high of 66.69 in mid-afternoon deals before ending at 66.75, showing a smart gain of 15 paise or 0.22 per cent.

The RBI, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 66.8299 and for the euro at 81.3788.

However, bond markets remained under immense pressure for the second-straight day with the 10-year benchmark yield surging to 7.76 per cent from 7.74 per cent.

Meanwhile, domestic equities staged a strong rebound after a two-day downtrend on good buying interest in select counters following encouraging earnings along with covering up of pending short positions by speculators due to expiry of the April derivatives contracts.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against a basket of six major currencies, was soft at 90.98 after briefly scaling to a fresh three-month tops of 91.32.

In the cross currency trade, the rupee recovered against the pound sterling to settle at 93.24 from overnight close of 93.31 and recouped against the euro to finish at 81.32 as compared with 81.54.

The local unit also rebounded against the Japanese yen to end at 61.18 per 100 yens from 61.32 earlier.

The pound sterling is trading marginally higher ahead of UK first-quarter GDP report on Friday despite political development in the UK where the UK Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a tough call from the House of Lords.

In forward market today, premium for dollar continued to slide owing to consistent receiving from exporters.

The benchmark six-month forward premium payable in August dropped to 82.50-84.50 paise from 88-90 paise and the far-forward February 2019 contract drifted 210.50-212.50 paise from 217-219 paise yesterday.

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