Rupee firms up for 2nd session, up 9 paise to 66.92

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The rupee today strengthened for the second straight session, gaining by another 9 paise to close at 66.92 per dollar in view of strong foreign capital inflows coupled with firm equity market. The rupee resumed lower at 67.06 per dollar as against the last Friday’s closing level of 67.01 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market on initial demand for the American currency from banks and importers but recovered afterwards to 66.90 before ending at 66.92, showing a gain of 9 paise, or 0.13 per cent.

The domestic currency gained by 15 paise, 0.21 per cent, in two days. The domestic unit hovered in the range of 67.07-66.90 per dollar during the day. The dollar index was trading up by 0.11 per cent against a basket of six currencies.

In the overseas market, the dollar rose against the yen in the late afternoon trade, but was largely flat against other major crosses, with investors reluctant to take strong positions due to the US national holiday for Presidents Day.

The dollar gained only moderately against the yen as Japanese corporate players bought the greenback for the purpose of commercial trade settlement in the mid-morning session. But a lack of fresh trading cues gave no clear direction to the US currency.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 8,043.14 crore last Friday, provisional data showed.

Meanwhile, the market benchmark Sensex surged by another 192.83 points, or 0.68 per cent, to close at 28,661.58 today. In forward market today, premium for dollar firmed up on fresh paying pressure from corporates.

The benchmark six-month premium payable in July gained to 145-147 paise from its previous level of 144-146 and far forward January 2018 contract also rose to 298-300 paise from last Friday’s closing level of 296-298.

The RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 66.9771 and for the euro at 71.0560.

In cross-currency trades, the rupee ended lower against the pound sterling at 83.46/48 from 83.15/17 but euro turned higher against the euro to settle at 71.10/12 from 71.33/35. The domestic currency rose against the Japanese yen to 59.17/19 per 100 yen from 59.34/36 previously.

Note: Forex and money markets will remain closed tomorrow, February 21, in view of Municipal Elections for Greater Mumbai.