Mumbai: The Indian rupee inched higher on Friday, helped by some money coming in from overseas ahead of the end of the fiscal year, though gains were checked as oil importers bought dollars to meet month-end requirements.
At 10:15 a.m., the partially convertible rupee was at 40.08/09, off early low of 40.135 and slightly stronger than Thursday’s close of at 40.095/105.
“Today we’re seeing some last-minute inflows of capital, some foreign and some Indians repatriating overseas investments to pad out their books, since Monday will be the last day of this fiscal year,” said a trader with a private bank, who expected the rupee to trade in a tight range on Friday.
Foreign investment in stocks is a key influence on the rupee, and the inflows have helped push the rupee to one-month highs this week.
Still, foreigners have been net sellers of $3.1 billion in stocks so far in 2008, during which time the rupee have fallen about 1.7% against the dollar, a sharp turnaround from 2007 when their record buying of $17.4 billion helped the rupee rise more than 12%.
“But the upward pressure on the rupee from these inflows is largely being offset by the typical oil buying at month’s end,” the trader said.
Indian oil companies usually buy dollars at the end of each month to meet import commitments. India imports more than two-thirds of its oil needs.