Mumbai: The Indian rupee advanced against the US dollar on Wednesday after Brent crude prices dropped below $50 a barrel and comments from US President Donald Trump expressing confidence in the Treasury secretary, federal reserve and US economy. At 9.15am, the rupee was trading at 69.82 a dollar, up 0.46% from its Monday’s close of 70.14. The rupee opened at 69.93 a dollar and touched a high of 69.79 a dollar. The 10-year gilt yield was trading at 7.235% from its previous close of 7.287%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
President Trump expressed confidence in Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Federal Reserve and US economy on Tuesday. Trump’s earlier criticism of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, the government shutdown and Mnuchin’s attempt to reassure investors contributed to further declines in US stocks on Monday and a 5% plunge in Japanese equities on Christmas Day.
Falling crude, analyst expects, reduced inflation and fiscal slippage worries. Since start of this year, Brent crude has dropped nearly 19% and since October peak of $86.29 a barrel it is down over 30%.
The benchmark Sensex index fell 0.08% to 35,443.16 points. Year to date, it is up 4%.
So far this year, the rupee has declined 8.5%, while foreign investors have sold $4.46 billion and $6.91 billion in the equity and debt markets, respectively.
Asian currencies were trading marginally higher. Malaysian ringgit was up 0.12%, Thai Baht 0.1%, South Korean won and Singapore dollar were up 0.07% each. Indonesian rupiah was down 0.35%, Japanese yen 0.14%, Chona renminbi 0.03%.
The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 96.557, down 0.02% from its previous close of 96.581.
Bloomberg contributed to this story