Rupee trades higher at 67.21 against US dollar


Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Friday strengthened against the US dollar from its previous close, ahead of the key US jobs data due later today.

At 9.10am, the home currency was trading at 67.21, up 0.14% from its previous close of 67.29. The rupee opened at 67.24 per US dollar and touched a high of 67.18 a dollar.

India’s benchmark Sensex index rose 0.22% or 57.74 points to 26,899.18. So far this year, Sensex gained 2.3%.

Traders are cautious ahead of the key US jobs data, which will offer a indicator of whether the Federal Reserve will pull the trigger in June. Fed chair Janet Yellen said last week that the ongoing improvement in the US economy would warrant another interest rate increase “in the coming months”, though stopping short of giving an explicit hint that the central bank would act at its 14-15 June meeting, Bloombergreported.

Meanwhile, India’s 10-year bond yield was trading at 7.49%, as compared with its Thursday’s close of 7.488%.

So far this year, the rupee has weakened 1.69%, while foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have bought $2.24 billion from the local equity market and sold $1.12 million in debt markets.

Most Asian currencies were trading higher. Indonesian rupiah was up 0.35%, Philippines peso 0.19% and Thai baht 0.11%. However, Taiwan dollar and Malaysian ringgit were down 0.05% each.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 95.57, up 0.01% from its previous close of 95.564.

Opec refrained from changing its oil output policy on Thursday after members failed to agree on a new production ceiling. US crude stockpiles fell by 1.4 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said. Although it was lower than a 2.5 million barrels forecast made by analysts, the draw still helped crude futures erase early losses, Reuters reported.