Rupee closes 19 paise stronger against US dollar at 66.33

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee strengthened against the US dollar on Friday amid mixed cues from Asian currencies markets and a modest gain in local shares.

The home currency closed at 66.33, up 0.29% from its previous close of 66.52. The rupee opened at 66.49 a dollar and touched a high and a low of 66.28 and 66.56, respectively, in intraday trade.

Asian currencies were trading mixed against the US dollar. Malaysian ringgit was down 0.192%, Philippines peso 0.16%, China renminbi 0.166%, South Korean won 0.114% and China offshore declined 0.089%. However, Japanese yen was up 0.952%, Thai baht 0.206%, Singapore dollar 0.164% and Taiwan dollar 0.09%.

India’s benchmark Sensex index rose 0.01%, or 3.52 points, to close at 25,606.62. So far this year, the Sensex has fallen 1.96%.

Year to date, the rupee has weakened 0.27%, while foreign institutional investors have bought $1.77 billion from the local equity market and sold $372 million in the debt market.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 93.38, down 0.41% from its previous close of 93.761.

The American economy expanded at the slowest pace in two years, 0.5% in the first quarter of the calendar year. On Thursday, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) left monetary policy unchanged. Earlier, the US Federal Reserve kept its benchmark rate unchanged following a two-day meeting.

Meanwhile, India’s 10-year bond yield closed at 7.436%, as compared with its Thursday’s close of 7.441%.