Rupee ends almost flat at 73.93 against USD

06:58 PM Jan 12, 2022 | PTI |

Mumbai: The rupee inched higher by just 1 paisa to close at 73.93 against the US dollar on Wednesday as elevated crude oil prices offset the impact of a weak American currency and positive domestic equities.


Forex traders said the less hawkish-than-expected testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell calmed fears of aggressive Fed policy tightening and supported emerging market currencies. However, appreciation bias was capped as crude oil prices continued to strengthen.

At the interbank forex market, the local unit witnessed an intra-day high of 73.78 and a low of 74.04 against the US dollar. It finally settled at 73.93, a rise of just 1 paisa over its previous close.

On Tuesday, the rupee had surged 11 paise to close at an over three-month high of 73.94 against the US dollar.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 533.15 points or 0.88 per cent higher at 61,150.04, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 156.60 points or 0.87 per cent to 18,212.35.


Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, slipped 0.02 per cent to 95.60.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, was trading 0.13 per cent lower at USD 83.61 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Tuesday, as they purchased shares worth Rs 111.91 crore, as per stock exchange data.

“The currency started the day on a strong note (on) upbeat risk appetite and weaker dollar, however, gave up all its gains amid importers’ dollar demand and stronger crude oil prices,” said Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities.

Additionally, foreign banks may have squared off their dollar short positions ahead of domestic and US inflation data. Speculation that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may have bought dollars in the spot market to prevent a further appreciation in the rupee also kept appreciation bias limited, Iyer said.

Asian currencies were mixed on Tuesday against the dollar ahead of US inflation data.

“Rupee ended on a steady note ahead of inflation and industrial output data. Market is already pricing for higher inflation and slower output growth on back higher factory gate price and slower eight core infra output,” said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.

The USD-INR has support around 73.80 levels and breaching of the same will open for 73.50 and even lower, while resistance will be in the range of 74.25 to 74.50, Parmar added.

According to Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities, rupee traded in a volatile range as higher crude prices, with Brent touching USD 84 and WTI above USD 81, kept pressure on rupee appreciation, but continued secondary market positive performance has supported the local unit strongly.

“Rupee can be seen in the volatile range of 73.75-74.25,” Trivedi said.


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