Mumbai: The Indian rupee strengthened against the US dollar on Thursday, tracking gains in equity market. The rupee closed at 68.57 a dollar, up 0.29% from its Wednesday’s close of 68.77. It opened at 68.75 a dollar and touched a high and a low of 68.51 and 68.76, respectively.

Traders are awaiting Consumer Price Index-based (CPI) inflation and Index of Industrial Production data due to be released later in the day. Retail inflation likely rose to a near two-year high in June, driven by surging oil and food prices, a Reuters poll showed.

According to a 4-9 July Reuters poll of 37 economists, retail prices rose at an annual 5.30% last month. That would be the fastest since July 2016, well above May’s 4.87% and keep inflation above the central bank’s 4% target for an eighth straight month.

The benchmark Sensex gained 0.78%, or 282.48 points, to close at 36,548.41 points.

The 10-year bond yield was trading at 7.78% compared to its previous close of 7.87%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

So far this year, rupee lost 6.85%, while foreign institutional investors have sold $850.27 million in equity and $8.72 billion in debt, respectively.

Asian currencies were trading mixed. China offshore gained 0.451%, Thai baht 0.186%, Philippines peso 0.159%, China renminbi 0.147%, Hong Kong dollar 0.011% and Singapore Dollar 0.007%. However, South Korean won lost 0.515%, Japanese yen lost 0.497%, Taiwan dollar 0.167%, Malaysian ringgit 0.099% and Indonesian rupiah 0.035%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 94.91, up 0.20%, from its previous close of 94.71.

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