Rupee closes at two-week high against US dollar

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Tuesday closed at two week high against the US dollar, tracking gains in the Asian currencies markets. This was the second consecutive sessions when the rupee gained.

The home currency closed at 67.96 a dollar—a level last seen on 30 December, up 0.20% from Monday’s close of 68.10. The rupee opened at 68.06 a dollar and touched a high and a low of 67.94 and 68.14, respectively. So far this year, it has fallen 0.1%.

Asian currencies were trading higher as Donald Trump said the US dollar is already “too strong” in part because China holds down its currency, according to a WSJ interview with the president-elect.

Japanese yen was up 1.2%, China offshore 0.92%, Singapore dollar 0.83%, China renminbi 0.66%, South Korean won 0.65%, Philippines peso 0.59%, Taiwan dollar 0.47%, Thai Baht 0.37%, Indonesian rupiah 0.22%, Malaysian ringgit 0.1%.

Traders remained cautious ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on Brexit plans due later in the day, as well as President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration stateside at the end of the week. According to news reports, the British PM might outline plans for a hard Brexit during a speech scheduled for Tuesday.

India’s benchmark Sensex index closed at 27,235.66 points, down 0.19% or 52.51 from its previous close. So far this year, it has gained 2.2%.

The 10-year bond yield closed at 6.418%, compared to Monday’s close of 6.441%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

So far this year, foreign institutional investors have sold $474.50 million and $262.50 million in equity and debt respectively.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 100.64, down 0.53% from its previous close of 101.18.