Rupee hits two-week high against US dollar

Mumbai: The Indian rupee strengthened for the fourth session to hit a two-week high against the US dollar on Friday, tracking gains in its Asian peers.

At 9.15am, the home currency was trading at 63.84, up 0.08% from its previous close of 63.91. The local currency opened 63.89 and touched a high of 63.82 a dollar—a level last seen on 2 February.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday said that it stands ready to inject adequate additional liquidity to address any demand on account of increase in currency in circulation and advance tax payments by companies and to provide flexibility to the banking system in its liquidity management towards March-end.

Trade deficit widened to $16.29 billion in January as compared with $14.88 billion from a year ago, government data showed. Merchandise imports surged nearly 26.1% last month year-on-year to $40.68 billion. Meanwhile, exports grew 9.1% on year to $24.38 billion.

India’s benchmark Sensex index rose 0.33% or 114.15 points to 34,411.62. So far this year, Sensex has risen 0.5%.

India’s 10-year bond yield was at 7.564% compared to its Thursday close of 7.568%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

Since the beginning of this year, the rupee has fallen 0.14%, while foreign institutional investors have bought $1.04 billion from local equity and $1.86 billion in debt markets.

Asian currencies were trading higher. South Korean won was up 0.86%, Indonesian rupiah 0.42%, Thai baht 0.18%, Taiwan dollar 0.16%, Singapore dollar 0.11% and China offshore 0.1%. However, Philippines peso was down 0.21% and Japanese yen fell 0.06%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 88.468, down 0.14% from its previous close of 88.593.livemint