Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Monday rose to a five-month high after the US dollar fell as trade talks between the US and China began and traders weighed possibility of the Federal Reserve pausing interest rate hikes. Traders await India’s advance GDP estimate for the current fiscal year ending in March due to be released after 5.30pm. Annual GDP estimate for year ending March 2019 may come in at 7.2% from prior 6.7%, according to economists. At 9.10am, the rupee was trading at 69.39 a dollar, up 0.54% from previous close of 69.73. The home currency opened at 69.42 and touched a high of 69.36—a level last seen on 10 August 2018.
US and Chinese officials start mid-level trade talks in Beijing on Monday. President Trump could meet with Chinese Vice President Wang at the World Economic Forum in Davos later this month.
Last week, fed chairman Jerome Powell signalled the central bank could pause interest-rate increases if the US economy weakened and pledged he will stay at his post even if President Donald Trump presses him to resign.
The 10-year gilt yield was trading at 7.448% from its Friday’s close of 7.449%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
The benchmark Sensex index rose 0.75% to 35963.15 points. Year to date, it is down 0.2%.
So far this year, the rupee has declined 0.86%, while foreign investors have sold $145.20 million in equities and bought $158 million in the debt markets.
Asian currencies were trading higher. Indonesian rupiah was up 1.3%, Malaysian ringgit 0.61%, South Korean won 0.46%, Japanese yen 0.36%, China renminbi 0.36%, Philippines peso 0.30%, China Offshore 0.19%, Taiwan dollar 0.16%, Singapore dollar 0.13%.
The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 96.010, down 0.18% from its previous close of 96.179.
Bloomberg contributed to this story