MUMBAI : Indian rupee on Monday strengthened against the US dollar as traders remained cautious ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy on Thursday.

Rupee closed at 71.66 a dollar, up 0.10% from Friday's close of 71.74. The Indian unit had opened at 71.79 a dollar.

The yield on the 10-year Indian government bond was at 6.49% compared with its previous close of 6.467%.

Traders now await Reserve Bank of India's bi-monthly policy statement on 5 December. Eight of 10 economists and treasury heads surveyed by Mint expect RBI monetary policy committee (MPC) to cut the repo rate, at which RBI lends to banks, by 25 basis points (bps) to 4.9%, while maintaining an accommodative stance. Two expect the RBI to cut rates by 15 bps.

In the year so far, the rupee has weakened 2.64%, while foreign investors have bought nearly $13.48 billion in Indian equities and $4.22 billion in debt.

Benchmark index Sensex rose marginally to close at 41,093.30 points, up 0.02%. Year-to-date, it has gained 13.12%.

Most of the Asian currencies were trading lower. Philippines peso fell 0.36%, tahi baht 0.24%, China Offshore 0.16%, South Korean won 0.14%, China renminbi 0.14%, Indonesian rupiah 0.12%, Singapore dollar 0.07%, Japanese yen 0.05% and Malaysian ringgit 0.03%. However, Taiwan dollar gained 0.10% and Hong Kong dollar 0.01%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against a basket of major currencies, was at 98.35, up 0.08% from its previous close of 98.273.

(Bloomberg contributed this story.)

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