Rupee down on weak shares, Asian peers

Rupee down on weak shares, Asian peers

Mumbai: The rupee weakened on Friday tracking losses in shares as well as Asian currencies, with broad dollar strength also weighing.

The partially convertible rupee closed the week at 45.2400/2500 per dollar, 0.1% weaker than its 45.1800/1900 close on Thursday. It moved in a 45.1600-45.2925 range intraday.

“It was a combination of both, the negative mood in the equities and view that dollar would rise as an after-effect of the quake in Japan, which hurt the rupee," said Ashtosh Raina, head of foreign exchange trading at HDFC Bank in Mumbai.

The quake, off Japan’s northeastern coast, measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale, triggered a 10-metre tsunami that swept away ships, houses, and farm buildings locally, and led to warnings around the Pacific basin.

Indian shares fell for the second week in three as they shrugged off better-than-expected factory data and ended 0.8% down as the Japanese quake rattled global markets.

India’s industrial output in January topped forecasts to grow an annual 3.7%, versus Reuters forecast of 2.9%.

The euro fell to its lowest in more than a week against the yen as investors cut long positions in riskier currencies, while traders cited real money selling of the pair.

The index of the dollar against six major currencies was at 77.315 points compared with 77.054 points at the end of trade in the local currency market.

Asian currencies too were battered by risk aversion and added to the rupee’s woes, traders said.