Mumbai: Indian rupee on Friday opened weaker against US dollar as traders fears fiscal slippage if government announces stimulus that includes cut in goods and services tax that analysts expect, may further worsen the fiscal health of the nation.

At 9.10 am, the rupee was at 71.43 a dollar, down 0.22% from its Wednesday's close of 71.28. The domestic currency had opened at 71.38. So far this year, the unit has declined 2.35%. On Thursday, markets were closed due to Independence Day.

The government is planning a series of measures, including tax cuts and targeted sops, to boost a slowing economy. The measures may include steps to boost infrastructure investments; goods and services tax (GST) relief to specific sectors, including the automobile industry; ways to further cut red tape on cross-border trade; and further improvements in the ease of doing business.

The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.602%, compared with its previous close of 6.634%.

The benchmark equity index Sensex fell 0.38% to 37168.66 points. So far this year, it has risen 3.45%.

Year to date, foreign investors have bought nearly $7.84 billion in equity and $2.76 billion in debt.

Asian currencies were trading mixed. Philippines peso was up 0.31%. Malaysian ringgit 0.25%, Indonesian rupiah 0.24%, Singapore dollar 0.13%, Taiwan dollar 0.05%. However, Thai Baht was down 0.24%, Japanese yen 0.11%, China renminbi 0.07%, China Offshore 0.05%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against a basket of major currencies, was at 98.216, up 0.07% from its previous close of 98.144..

(Bloomberg contributed this story)

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