Rupee hits 1-month high; oil likely to weigh

Rupee hits 1-month high; oil likely to weigh

Mumbai: The rupee reversed early losses and touched a one-month high on Wednesday helped by dollar sales by corporates, but demand for the greenback from oil refiners and weak local shares are likely to cap gains.

Traders said dollar selling by corporates including Reliance Industries in the spot market aided the rupee.

At 11:45am, the partially convertible rupee was at 44.5950/6000 per dollar, after touching 44.5750, its highest level since 5 May. It had closed at 44.67/68 on Tuesday.

“The rupee will eye how the dollar behaves globally and local shares. The dollar is getting hammered," a dealer with a state-run bank said.

It is likely to trade in a range of 44.52-44.75 during the day, traders said.

The dollar slipped to a one-month low under ¥80 on Wednesday as the yen was bought back broadly amid heightened risk-aversion reflecting general falls in Asian share prices.

The US currency was also weighed down by comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that bolstered expectations for US interest rates to stay low for now.

The euro was trading at $1.4682, compared with $1.4660 at the end of local trade on Tuesday.

However, oil refiners’ demand for the greenback and negative local shares are likely to weigh, traders said.

Oil is India’s largest import item and oil refiners are the largest buyers of dollars in the local market.

Brent oil fell on Wednesday, hovering around $116 a barrel, ahead of an Opec meeting where members are expected to agree to raise global supplies to rein in high prices that have weighed on growth and stoked inflation in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Markets eased 0.3% on Wednesday, joining a drop across Asia as investors fretted about growth worries and slowing earnings outlook for companies .

The one-month onshore forward premium was at 24.50 points versus 25.50 points at Tuesday’s close. The three-month was at 75.75 points against 75 at the previous close and the one-year was at 261.25 points versus 272.75.

One-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at 44.83, weaker than the onshore spot rate.

In the currency futures market , the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange and the MCX-SX were both at 44.7675 and on the United Stock Exchange were at 44.7650, with the total volume at $3.1 billion.