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Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

Rupee weakens to almost two-month low against US dollar

  • Rupee closes at 71.94 a dollar, down 0.18% from Friday's close of 71.81
  • Yield on the 10-year government bond was at 6.571% compared with its previous close of 6.515%

MUMBAI : Indian rupee weakened to almost two-month low against US dollar on Monday on concerns over rising tension in the Middle East outweighed the market’s recent optimism surrounding a US-China trade truce.

Rupee closed at 71.94 a dollar, down 0.18% from Friday's close of 71.81. The Indian unit had opened at 71.99 and so far today has touched a low of 72.12 a dollar.

Oil prices rose close to 2% on Monday, pushing Brent above $67 a barrel, as rhetoric from the United States, Iran and Iraq fanned tensions in the Middle East after the killing of a top Iranian general. Brent crude futures soared to a high of $70.74 a barrel and was at $70.03 at 0747 GMT, up $1.43, or 2.1%, from Friday’s settlement. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $64.15 a barrel, up $1.10, or 1.7%, after touching $64.72 earlier, the highest since April.

Yield on the 10-year government bond was at 6.571% compared with its previous close of 6.515%.

Year to date, the rupee has weakened 0.78%, while foreign investors have bought nearly $202.90 million in Indian equities and sold $189.30 million in debt.

In pre-opening trade, the benchmark Sensex index was down 0.1% or 56.97 points at 41407.64 points. Since April, the index has gained 0.5%.

Asian currencies also traded mixed. South Korean Won fell 0.43%, Taiwan Dollar 0.15%, Indonesian Rupiah 0.1%, China Renminbi 0.07%, China Offshore 0.04% and Malaysian Ringgit 0.03%. However, Thai Baht gained 0.13%, Hong Kong Dollar 0.12%, Philippines Peso 0.05%, Japanese yen 0.04% and Singapore Dollar 0.007%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against a basket of major currencies, was at 96.574, down 0.27% from its previous close of 96.838.

(Bloomberg contributed this story.)

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