Rupee opens marginally weaker against US dollar

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Monday weakened marginally against the US dollar, tracking losses in its Asian peers.

At 9.15am, the home currency was trading at 63.91 a dollar, down 0.10% from its Friday’s close of 63.85. The rupee opened at 63.89 a dollar.

Local markets have surged 4.3% so far this year. The benchmark Sensex rose 0.28%, or 98.25 points, to 35,609.83.

Bond yield fell after Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Ltd on Saturday said that it will buy government’s stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL) for around Rs36,000 crore.

The government will use the proceeds from the sale to narrow its fiscal deficit target of 3.2% for this fiscal. Last week, the government lowered its borrowing programme to Rs20,000 crore from Rs50,000 crore extra announced less than a month ago.

The 10-year bond yield was at 7.288% compared to its previous close of 7.295%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

Traders are cautious ahead of the last full-year Union budget on 1 February before the 2019 elections and Reserve Bank of India’s bi-monthly policy on 7 February.

So far this year, the rupee has risen marginally 0.04%, while foreign investors bought $822.50 million and $471.90 million in equities and bonds, respectively.

Asian currencies were trading lower after US lawmakers failed to avert a government shutdown, while an unexpected drop in a consumer sentiment index Friday signalled more weak economic data in January, Bloomberg reported.

South Korean won was down 0.24%, Philippines peso 0.21%, Indonesian rupiah 0.14%, Malaysian ringgit 0.07%, China offshore 0.06%, Thai baht 0.06% and Hong Kong dollar fell 0.04%. However, Taiwan dollar was up 0.57%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 90.591, up 0.02% from its previous close of 90.572.livemint