Rupee off 3-week highs on importer demand

Rupee off 3-week highs on importer demand

Mumbai: Rupee retreated from its near three-week highs on Friday afternoon as importers including oil firms bought dollars while the weakness in domestic shares also weighed.

The dollar’s broad losses versus major currencies, however, prevented the rupee from slipping further.

At 1:50pm, the partially convertible rupee was at 45.15/16 per dollar, after hitting 45.06, its highest since 15 November, and stronger than Thursday’s closing of 45.275/285.

Traders said demand for dollars arose from importers including oil firms tracking high global crude oil prices. India buys most of its oil and refiners are the largest buyers of dollars in the domestic currency market.

India’s main stock index dropped half a percent on profit sales after the recent rally but is on track to post its first weekly rise in four.

Traders are also awaiting the US jobs data, due at 7:00pm, which is expected to show an increase of 140,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey.

One-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were at 45.38, weaker than the onshore spot rate, suggesting a bearish near-term outlook.

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 45.3550. Total traded volume on the three exchanges was slightly lower at $2.8 billion.