Rupee rallies 24 paise to 69.10 vs USD on robust foreign inflows

Mumbai: Rising for the fifth straight session, the rupee Friday jumped 24 paise to close at 69.10 against the US dollar on sustained foreign fund inflows and heavy buying in domestic equities.

Forex traders said the dollar’s weakness against its key rivals overseas and easing crude prices strengthened the market sentiment domestically.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the domestic unit opened at 69.28 and advanced to a high of 69.03 during the day. It finally settled at 69.10, a rise of 24 paise against the dollar over its previous close.

The rupee on Thursday had strengthened by 20 paise to close at 69.34 against the US dollar.

On a weekly basis, the domestic currency has added 104 paise. This is also the fifth consecutive week of gain for the local unit.

“The rupee continues to remain on appreciating mode due to FIIs inflow in the debt and equity market. Crude oil prices are stable hence inflation is expected to remain benign in coming months,” said Rushabh Maru – Research Analyst , Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers.

Maru further said that the US Federal Reserve’s patient approach to raise interest rates have also improved sentiments.

Forex traders said, the rally in the Indian markets was led by strong FII buying on account of reduction in geopolitical risks and opinion polls suggesting a likely return of the NDA government in the general election 2019.

“Market is expecting NDA government to return to the power after the election. Hence all these factors are supporting the rupee,” Maru said.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading at USD 66.96 per barrel, lower by 0.40 per cent.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.15 per cent to 96.64.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) purchased shares worth Rs 4,323.49 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) offloaded equities to the tune of Rs 2,130.36 crore Friday, provisional data showed.

“FII inflows totalled USD 1.6 billion for the past five days, while DII outflows stood at USD 839 million for the same period,” Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice President- PCG Research, Kotak Securities, said.

Extending its winning run to the fifth session, BSE benchmark Sensex settled 269.43 points, or 0.71 per cent, higher at 38,024.32. The NSE Nifty closed 83.60 points, or 0.74 per cent, up at 11,426.85.

The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 69.2131 and for rupee/euro at 78.3368. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 91.6437 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 61.99.