Rupee trades higher at 66.87 against US dollar


Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Friday was trading marginally higher against the US dollar, tracking gains in its Asian peers ahead of non-farm payrolls data due later on Friday.

The rupee opened at 66.92 a dollar. At 9.10am, the home currency was trading at 66.87 a dollar, up 0.06% from its previous close of 66.92.

Traders are also cautious ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) bi-monthly policy on 9 August. According to credit rating agency ICRA, RBI may not cut rates in this policy, but a 0.25% cut is on the cards in 2016. It said the central bank is expected to keep rates unchanged for now as CPI (consumer price index) inflation at around 5.8% in June is close to the upper end of RBI’s target of 4% (+/- 2%).

India’s benchmark Sensex index rose 0.29% or 80.85 points to 27,795.22. So far this year, it gained 6.3%.

So far this year, the rupee is down 1.1%, while foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have bought $4.78 billion in equity and sold $1.06 billion in debt markets.

Meanwhile, India’s 10-year bond yield was at 7.175%, as compared with its Thursday’s close of 7.171%.

Asian currencies joined a rise in Asian and global stock prices on Friday after the Bank of England (BoE) launched a potent post-Brexit stimulus campaign, but some caution before a big US jobs report limited gains.

An overnight rally in crude oil prices also sharpened risk appetites, while sterling nursed deep losses after sliding on news of the BoE stimulus plan. The BoE said it would take “whatever action is necessary” to achieve stability in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Reuters reported.

Malaysian ringgit was up 0.3%, South Korean won 0.19%, Taiwan dollar 0.19%, Indonesian rupiah 0.15%, Philippines peso 0.14%, Thai baht 0.11%, Japanese yen 0.08% and Singapore dollar 0.05%. However, China offshore and China renminbi were down 0.05% each.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 95.732, down 0.03% from its previous close of 95.758.