Rupee trades marginally lower at 67.06 against US dollar

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Wednesday weakened marginally against the US dollar, ahead of the key gross domestic product (GDP) and fiscal deficit data due after 5.30pm. According to Bloomberg analyst estimates, GDP may be at 7.5% compared with 7.9% in the March quarter.

The rupee opened at 67.09 per dollar. At 9.12am, the home currency was trading at 67.06 per dollar, down 0.05% from its previous close of 67.03.

India’s benchmark Sensex index fell 0.06% or 16.39 points to 28,326.62. So far this year, it has gained 8.52%.

The 10-year bond yield was trading at 7.103%, compared with its Tuesday’s close of 7.11%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

The rupee is down 1.35% till date this year, while foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have bought $5.91 billion in equity and sold $1.2 billion in debt markets.

Asian currencies were trading mixed as investors waited to see if upcoming job data could prod the US Federal Reserve into raising interest rates as soon as September.

South Korean won was up 0.25%, Singapore dollar 0.14%, China offshore 0.07% and China renminbi 0.05%. However, Malaysian ringgit was down 0.46%, Philippines peso 0.18%, Indonesian rupiah 0.17%, Thai baht 0.11% and Taiwan dollar fell 0.06%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 95.965, down 0.09% from its previous close of 96.054.

Friday’s US jobs report is expected to show employers added 180,000 jobs in August, according to the median estimate of 89 economists polled by Reuters.

Fed vice-chairman Stanley Fischer said in a television interview on Tuesday that the US job market is nearly at full strength and the pace of the central bank’s interest rate increases will depend on how well the economy is doing, Reuters reported.