Mumbai: The Indian rupee strengthened against the US dollar as crude oil prices fell below $60 per barrel after OPEC has delayed a decision on output cuts. Traders were also cautious ahead of exit poll results of five state elections due after market hours today. At 9.15am, the home currency was trading at 70.52 a dollar, up 0.54% from its Thursday’s close of 70.90. The currency opened at 70.56 a dollar. The 10-year government bond yield stood at 7.401% from its previous close of 7.423%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

Crude oil prices fell to $59.49 bbl after OPEC ended a key meeting having made no decision on crude output, as it prepared to debate the matter with other exporters the next day, Bloomberg reported

Polling for Rajasthan and Telangana state assembly elections to take place from 8am to 5pm local time. Results of the all five state polls will be announced on 11 December. Analysts believe that the outcomes of the five state elections will likely set the tone for the 2019 general elections.

The benchmark Sensex Index rose 0.52% or 182.73 points to 35,494.86 points. Year to date, it has gained 4%.

So far this year, the rupee has declined 9.33%, while foreign investors have sold $4.91 billion and $7.57 billion in the equity and debt markets, respectively.

Asian currencies were trading higher. South Korean won was up 0.3%, Philippines peso 0.27%, Thai Baht 0.21%, China renminbi 0.14%, China Offshore 0.06%, Singapore dollar 0.04%, Indonesian rupiah 0.04%. However, Japanese yen was down 0.06%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 96.803, down 0.01% from its previous close of 96.81.

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