Rupee weakens against US dollar on global equity sell-off

Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Friday weakened against the US dollar as global equity markets slumped after US President Donald Trump decided to slap tariffs on China.

The rupee opened at 65.18 a dollar. At 9.15am, the home currency was trading at 65.20 a dollar, down 0.15% from its Thursday’s close of 65.11.

Trump instructed US trade representative Robert Lighthizer to impose broader tariffs on at least $50 billion in Chinese imports, as recompense for alleged intellectual property abuses.

In response to Trump, China said it does not fear a trade war with the US and announced plans for reciprocal tariffs on $3 billion of imports from the US.

Benchmark Sensex index fell 1%, or 329.80 points, to 32,686.14. So far this year, it has declined 4%.

Bond yield fell for the third session as traders await the April-September bond auction calendar by the first week of April. The 10-year bond yield was at 7.526% compared to its previous close of 7.558%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

So far this year, the rupee fell 1.9%, while foreign investors have bought $1.66 billion in equity and sold $84.40 million in debt market.

Asian currencies were trading higher. Japanese yen was up 0.4%, Singapore dollar 0.21%, Thai baht 0.18%, China offshore 0.12% and China renminbi 0.05%. However, South Korean won was down 0.74%, Indonesian rupiah 0.23% and Taiwan dollar 0.13%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 89.623, down 0.26% from its previous close of 89.857.livemint

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