The rupee settled just 1 paisa higher at 74.87 against the US dollar on Thursday amid a bearish trend in domestic equities and a strong greenback overseas. Forex traders said foreign fund outflows, strengthening of the dollar and firm crude prices in the international market restricted the appreciation bias in the local currency.
At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 74.86 against the greenback, and moved in a range of 74.69 to 74.89 during the session. It finally ended at 74.87, registering a rise of just 1 paisa over its previous close.
The rupee on Wednesday had surged by 47 paise to close at a nearly two-week high of 74.88 against the American currency. On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 336.46 points or 0.55 per cent lower at 60,923.50, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 88.50 points or 0.48 per cent to 18,178.10.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, advanced 0.09 per cent to 93.64. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 1.05 per cent to USD 84.92 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 1,843.09 crore, as per exchange data.
According to Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities, dollar sales by foreign banks capped the depreciation, while importers’ covering kept the appreciation bias limited.
Asian equities were mostly lower, along with equities in India and concerns of high inflation also kept appreciation bias capped this Thursday. “Technically, the USD-INR Spot pair holds strong support zones at 74.75-74.63 levels. Resistances are at 75.00 and 75.20,” Iyer said.
In the overseas markets, the dollar was flat against a basket of currencies, while the 10-year US Treasury yields eased. The Indian benchmark yields also eased as traders speculated that the central bank might announce a special debt purchase as early as Thursday, which would aid a fall in yields, Iyer said.
“USD-INR spot closed flat near 74.86 levels, due to push and pull of a weak US Dollar Index and falling Indian stocks,” said Anindya Banerjee, DVP, Currency Derivatives & Interest Rate Derivatives at Kotak Securities Ltd.
Banerjee added that with strength in emerging market currencies, the rupee can appreciate towards 74.50/60 levels in the coming days.