Rupee trades marginally higher against US dollar

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Thursday was trading marginally higher against the US dollar as local equity markets continued clocking gains.

The rupee opened at 63.86 a dollar. At 9.49am, the home currency was trading at 63.85 a dollar, up 0.05% from its Wednesday’s close of 63.89.

Local markets opened nearly 300 points higher after CNBC TV reported that the government allowed 100% foreign direct investment in the banking sector.

The benchmark Sensex rose 0.87%, or 306.66 points, to 35,388.48. So far in 2018, it has gained 3.88%.

The 10-year bond yield was at 7.244%, compared to its previous close of 7.222%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

So far this year, the rupee has weakened 0.03%, while foreign investors bought $395.60 million and $316.50 million in equities and bonds, respectively.

Asian currencies were trading lower ahead of a slew of economic data from China and Bank Indonesia’s monetary policy decision.

Malaysian ringgit was down 0.17%, China offshore 0.08%, Thai baht 0.05% and China renminbi 0.05%. However, Taiwan dollar was up 0.09% and South Korean won rose 0.04%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 90.878, up 0.38% from its previous close of 90.541.

China will issue gross domestic product (GDP) and industrial production data later on Thursday. GDP probably expanded 6.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) in 4Q after 6.8% growth in 3Q, according to median estimate in a Bloomberg survey; retail sales increased 10.2% y-o-y in December, industrial production gained 6.1% and fixed asset investment increased 7.1% year-to-date, according to separate surveys.