The rupee settled five paise lower against the US dollar on Wednesday, February 16, at 72.74 (provisional) tracking losses in the domestic equity markets and a stronger American currency. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic unit opened at 72.90 against the dollar and registered an intra-day high of 72.72. It witnessed a low of 72.92. In an early trade session, the local unit slumped as much as 23 paise to 72.92 against the greenback. The rupee closed five paise lower at 72.74 against the American currency. On Tuesday, February 16, the local unit had settled at 72.69 against the dollar.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, gained 0.35 per cent to 90.82. “Today”s Fed minutes will decide whether USDINR spot will appreciate or not because Powell was dovish in his recent speech, if the same is reflected by all the FOMC members then we may see bearishness to continue in USDINR spot,” said Rahul Gupta, Head Of Research-Currency, Emkay Global Financial Services.
“Also, it depends on how US yields react to the fiscal stimulus package as it will increase inflationary pressure. Currently, the spot is trading in between 72.50-73 and we expect the range to stay intact in near-term. Only a consistent trading above 73 will push the spot towards 73.25-73.30,” he added.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 400.34 points or 0.77 per cent lower at 51,703.83, while the broader NSE Nifty declined 104.55 points or 0.68 per cent to 15,208.90.