Mumbai: The rupee continued to trade close to its strongest level in more than a month on Friday afternoon, tracking mostly firm regional peers, but choppy domestic shares limited a further sharp upside.
At 2:12pm, the partially convertible rupee was at Rs 45.21/22 per dollar, after touching Rs 45.1650, its strongest since 14 January and above its close of Rs 45.34/35 on Thursday.
The Indonesian rupiah hit a 3-1/2-year high on Friday, buoyed by heavy demand from foreign banks, and Asian currencies rose broadly as the dollar came under pressure following a dip in short-term US yields.
The index of the dollar against six major units too was down. The Swiss franc held near two-week highs on Friday, having powered higher on mounting Middle East tensions, while the US dollar lost steam, putting its rebound this month from a three-month low at risk.
India’s main stock index was trading down 0.6% as some profit-taking kicked in after five straight daily gains, reversing early gains of nearly 1%.
Traders said oil refiners were also buying dollars. Oil is India’s biggest import and refiners are the largest buyers of dollars in the domestic currency market.
One-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at 45.43, weaker than the onshore spot rate.
In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange were all at 45.2650, with the total traded volume at about $3.7 billion.