Mumbai: The Indian rupee strengthened further on Friday to hit a fresh three-month high against the US dollar, tracking gains in its Asian peers on expectations of slower pace of interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve next year. Traders are cautious ahead of Q2 GDP data due to be released after 5.30pm today. At 1.50pm, the rupee was trading at 69.76 a dollar—a level last seen on 10 August, up 0.12% from its Thursday’s close of 69.85. The currency opened at 69.69 a dollar. The 10-year government bond yield stood at 7.625% from its previous close of 7.608%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

t“The dovish comments by the US Fed (and continued falling crude) fuelled a rally across EM assets and the Rupee (and Bond prices) too appreciated", said Edelweiss Securities said in a note to its investors.

According to Bloomberg estimates, GDP growth will be 7.5% in the September quarter, against 8.2% a quarter ago.

Traders will also watch a key meeting between US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping this weekend for further cues on trade war.

The benchmark Sensex Index rose 0.37% or 134.02 points to 36,487.20 points. Year to date, it has rose 6.21%.

So far this year, the rupee has declined 8.9%, while foreign investors have sold $5.20 billion and $7.62 billion in the equity and debt markets, respectively.

Asian currencies were trading higher. Indonesian rupiah was up 0.74%, Philippines peso 0.13%, Japanese yen 0.11%, Taiwan dollar 0.04%, South Korean won 0.04%. However, Malaysian ringgit was down 0.09%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 96.727, down 0.05% from its previous close of 96.778.

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