Rupee erases intraday loses, trades higher against US dollar at 67.25

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee erased all the losses and was trading higher against the US dollar on Wednesday afternoon, after the local equity markets turned positive.

At 2.41pm, the home currency was trading at 67.25, up 0.21% from its previous close of 67.39. The rupee opened at 67.34 a dollar and touched a high and a low of 67.23 and 67.45, respectively in intraday trade.

Earlier in the morning the local equity markets fell 190 points but recovered later. India’s benchmark Sensex index rose 0.25%, or 61.90 points, to 24,614. The Sensex has rallied 6.73% so far this month, but is still down 6% year to date.

Currency traders also keenly await the US Federal Reserve’s stance on key policy rates, which will be out later in the day.

The trade deficit for February stood at $6.54 billion as compared with $7.64 billion a month ago. Exports fell 5.66% from a year ago to $20.74 billion while imports fell 5.03% to $27.28 billion.

Since the beginning of this year, the rupee has lost 1.6%, while foreign institutional investors have sold $1.20 billion in local equity markets and $1.45 billion in debt markets.

Meanwhile, India’s 10-year bond yield stood at 7.585%, as compared with its Tuesday’s close of 7.582%.

Asian currencies were trading lower. Indonesian rupiah was down 0.73%, South Korean won 0.47%, Japanese yen 0.44%, China offshore 0.15%, China renminbi 0.09%. However, Thai baht was up 0.33% and Singapore dollar 0.07%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 96.911, up 0.29% from its previous close of 96.633.