Rupee off highs but firm on stocks, euro rise

Rupee off highs but firm on stocks, euro rise

Mumbai: The rupee was off highs, but remained strong in afternoon trade on Wednesday, as firm domestic stocks and gains in the euro offset dollar demand from oil importing companies.

At 1:23pm, the partially convertible rupee was at 45.63/64 per dollar, off day’s high of 45.54 touched so far in trade and 0.3% stronger than its previous close of 45.755/765. The unit had weakened to 46.01 on Monday, its lowest since Nov. 30.

Dealers expect the rupee to move in the 45.40-45.70 range intraday.

Shares climbed more than 1% on Wednesday as stronger Asian markets spurred investors to grab bargains, a day after the main index had slid to its lowest close in five months.

The dollar marked its lowest level in nearly three months on Wednesday as a string of robust economic data and easing concerns over Egypt took the steam out of safe-haven buying in the currency.

However, demand for the greenback from oil refiners pulled the rupee off its day’s highs.

Foreign funds were net sellers of $1.4 billion worth of shares in January pushing the rupee down 2.6%. Last year, a record $29.3 billion of fund inflows had helped the rupee gain 4.1%.

The dollar index, a measure of the greenback’s performance against six major currencies, was down 0.10% at 77.006 points.

One-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at 45.85, weaker than the onshore spot rate.

In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, MCX-SX and United Stock Exchange were at 45.8300, 45.8325 and 45.8350 respectively, with the total traded volume at $3 billion.