Mumbai: The rupee touched a fresh 19-month high on Monday, as the euro rose to its highest in nearly a month against the dollar, but weaker stock markets limited the local currency’s gains.
At 10:30 am, the partially convertible rupee was at 44.25/26 per dollar, slightly stronger than its previous close of 44.28/29. It earlier touched a peak of 44.18 -- its strongest since 8 September 2008, according to Thomson Reuters data. “There is plenty of dollar supplies from exporters and corporates,” said a trader at a private bank.
The euro gained 1% against the dollar and yen after euro zone finance ministers approved a €30 billion ($40.5 billion) aid package of loans for Greece if needed, with €10 billion also expected from the International Monetary Fund.
Most Asian currencies also traded higher against the dollar.
The BSE benchmark Sensex was down 0.2%, after falling as much as 0.6%, taking a pause after the recent rally.
“The rupee reacted to equity markets and dealt 44.30. The dollar movement in overseas markets would have led the rupee to open at 44.10-44.15, but the fall in stock markets checked the gains,” said Paresh Nayar, head of FX and money markets at First Rand Bank.
Traders were also watching the impact of foreign inflows due to bidding for India’s multi-billion dollar 3G (third-generation) auction on the near-maturity cash-spot premiums, which traded around 3%, little changed from Friday’s close.
The one-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were at 44.23/33, near the onshore spot rate.
In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange were at 44.3050 and on its rival exchange MCX-SX at 44.3075.