The Indian rupee settled with a marginal gain of 4 paise at 73.02 (provisional) against the US dollar on Friday, even as the domestic equities continued their record-setting spree.
At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 73.05 against the greenback and witnessed an intra-day high of 73.01 and a low of 73.15.
It finally ended at 73.02 against the American currency, registering a gain of just 4 paise over its previous close.
On Thursday, the rupee had settled at 73.06 against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, advanced 0.01 per cent to 92.23.
Anindya Banerjee, DVP, Currency Derivatives & Interest Rate Derivatives at Kotak Securities Ltd. said, "What a change in weather in USDINR. After being ranged for over 2 months, between 74.10 and 75.00, USDINR was slammed lower, towards 73.00 levels this week, on the back of weak Dollar Index and rising equity markets. After a bland speech from US Fed chairman Jerome Powel in Jackson Hole, where he dragged his feet on raising interest rates or announcing taper, USDINR came under selling pressure. This trend may not reverse soon, as traders shy away from USD and own emerging market currencies like the Indian Rupee.
Banerjee said next week would likely be data light and hence the downward bias will continue in USDINR, barring any unexpected sell-off in stocks. However, with USDINR back near 73.00, the tussle between market and RBI is fully underway. "The market wants to know where will the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) draw the line and intervene aggressively. We would continue to look for selling opportunities as upside may remain capped under 73.50 levels on September futures," Banerjee said.
Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities said, "Forex markets trading activities were quiet since last two days as investors looked with some uneasiness ahead today’s US labour market report and long weekend as US market will remain closed on Monday on account of Labour Day," PTI reported.
Parmar further said that markets followed the path of resistance with higher equities and lower dollar. The rupee marked the second weekly gains on back of stronger inflows and higher equities.
On a weekly basis, the local currency has appreciated by 67 paise against the US dollar.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 277.41 points or 0.48 per cent higher at a lifetime high of 58,129.95, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 89.45 points or 0.52 per cent to close at record 17,323.60.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.53 per cent to USD 73.82 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Thursday as they purchased shares worth Rs 348.52 crore, as per exchange data.
(With PTI inputs)
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