Mumbai: The rupee treaded water on Friday as traders awaited for cues on direction, though concerns about capital outflows amid weak Asian equity markets weighed on sentiment.
At 9:30 a.m., the rupee was at 39.61/62, unchanged from the previous close.
“Asian stocks have fallen about 1 percent, which is not that much these days, so it hasn’t had much of an impact,” said a dealer with a foreign bank.
Asian stocks fell after the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman said risks to U.S. economic growth had increased, while global credit concerns resurfaced after a steep ratings downgrade of a US bond insurer.
Indian shares are expected to drop on Friday, in line with the regional trend. On Thursday, the BSE index had climbed 4.8%, its largest rise in nearly three weeks.
Shares of state-run oil firms led gains after the government announced it would raise the retail price of fuels. But higher fuel prices have doused hopes for a central bank rate cut in the near term, with inflation already showing signs of rising.
The dollar steadied on Friday after falling the previous day, when a pledge by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to act as needed to support economic growth and tackle downside risks fuelled expectations of another cut in rates next month.
Most Asian currencies rallied on Friday as investors bought local assets amid expectations of further US interest rate cuts.