Rupee closes flat against US dollar
Mumbai: The Indian rupee closed little changed against the US dollar as traders avoided taking huge positions ahead of the long weekend. Markets will remain closed on Friday due to Holi ahead of the weekend.
Traders also cautious ahead of Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell appearance before senate banking committee in Washington following his hawkish comments on Tuesday that speculated he may hike interest rates faster than expected.
The rupee closed at 65.17, up 0.01% from its previous close of 65.18. The home currency opened at 65.25 and touched a high and a low of 65.10 and 65.27, respectively.
Yields on 10-year government bonds ended at 7.741% compared to Wednesday’s close of 7.72%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
India’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 7.2% in December quarter—its fastest pace of growth in five quarters and above the 7% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey—helped by a sharp pick-up in the services sector and a rebound in agriculture and manufacturing, government data showed.
“The growth data are a positive surprise and confirm a cyclical recovery, led by rising investment demand, but growth in private consumption demand is slowing. We find aspects of the sectoral data puzzling, especially the sharp pick-up in agriculture,” said brokerage firm Nomura in a note to its investors.
India’s benchmark Sensex index fell 0.4% or 137.10 points to 34,046.94. So far this year, Sensex has risen 0.5%.
Year to date, the rupee weakened 2.1%, while foreign investors have bought $371.90 million and $1.32 billion in equity and debt markets, respectively.
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