Rupee trades higher at 67.24 against US dollar

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Friday strengthened for the sixth consecutive session against the US dollar, after local equity markets continued to gain. The currency has appreciated in eight out of nine sessions.

At 9.10am, the home currency was trading at 67.24, up 0.18% from its previous close of 67.34. The rupee opened at 67.23 and touched a high of 67.22, a level last seen on 14 January.

India’s benchmark Sensex index rose 0.40% or 97.60 points to 24,704.59. Sensex gained over 1,600 points from the last four trading sessions.

Indian markets will remain closed on Monday on account of Mahashivratri.

Traders are cautious ahead of the release of US non-farm payrolls data to be released later in the day

The report on US non-farm payrolls will give investors further insight into the health of the world’s biggest economy and the likelihood of further interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, while China will announce its 2016 growth forecast when the National People’s Congress gets under way on Saturday, Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, India’s 10-year bond yield was at 7.658%, as compared with its Thursday’s close of 7.662%.

Since the beginning of this year, the rupee has lost 1.5%, while foreign institutional investors have sold $2.18 billion from local equity and $1.10 million in debt markets.

Most of the Asian currencies were trading higher. Taiwan dollar was up 0.7%, Indonesian rupiah 0.56%, South Korean won 0.3%, Japanese yen 0.15%, Philippines peso 0.15% and China renminbi 0.06%. However, Malaysian ringgit was down 0.1%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 97.712, up 0.13% from its previous close of 97.592.