Rupee clings to 1-month high; shares in focus

Rupee clings to 1-month high; shares in focus

Mumbai: The rupee rose to its strongest in more than a month on Monday boosted by firm regional currencies and early gains in the euro, but sentiment remained cautious amid choppy domestic shares.

At 12:15am, the partially convertible rupee was at 45.12/13 per dollar, after hitting 45.1025 - its strongest since 13 January, and 0.1% above its 45.1950/2050 close on Friday.

“Gains in the euro and the absence of any big sell off in the local share market is keeping the rupee stronger today," said Manoj Kumar, a dealer at State Bank of Travancore.

The rupee’s rise is likely to be capped as mood may turn cautious ahead of the federal budget on 28 February, Kumar said.

The euro was holding firm in early trade near its highest level in more than 10 days after a European Central Bank official kept alive the prospect of the ECB hiking rates before the Fed.

However, the dollar’s index against six major currencies was up 0.1% at 77.744 points.

Among Asian peers, most of which were stronger, the Taiwanese dollar and Thailand’s Baht were biggest gainers, while the Korean won fell the most.

The rupee is expected to move in 45.10-45.25 range through most part of Monday, traders said.

One-month onshore forward premiums were quoted at 22.25 points compared with 22.50 points at close on Friday. The one-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at 45.34, 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 on the MCX-SX were at 45.1650, and on the United Stock Exchange at 45.1625, with the total traded volume on the three exchanges at about $2.3 billion.