In line with soaring equities, the rupee strengthened further by 11 paise to end at 64.62 today on sustained selling of the US dollar by exporters and banks. A record-setting domestic stock rally and expectation of robust capital inflows made the rupee stronger further, forex dealers said. Overall forex sentiment turned positive after the US Federal Reserve signalled a more cautious approach to future rate hikes and also reiterated the data-dependency of such a move.
The rupee opened with a gap-up at 64.54 from overnight closing level of 64.73 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market here on adequate dollar supply and gained further ground to hit a high of 64.48. But, it soon turned volatile and gave back early solid gains due to some month-end dollar demand.
It touched a fresh intra-day low of 64.65 in late afternoon trade before ending at 64.62, showing a good gain of 11 paise, or 0.17 per cent.
The US dollar didn’t enjoy those Fed minutes much and traded largely range-bound amid concerns about possible delays in Trump’s efforts to implement his economic stimulus plans. Indian equity markets staged a spectacular rebound after two-day sell-offs with the flagship Sensex surging to life- time highs on the back of frantic short-covering amid expiry of F&O contracts also supported by buoyant global cues after the US Fed signalled a more cautious approach to future rate hikes.
The benchmark Sensex ended at a new peak of 30,750.03, surging over 448 points, while Nifty soared 149 points at 9,509.75.
In the meantime, global crude prices collapsed towards the key psychological USD 50/barrel level after Saudi hinted that there is no need for deeper cuts. The RBI, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 64.5088 and for the euro at 72.4692.
In worldwide trade, the greenback traded little changed across the board after the Federal Reserve dialled down some expectations that it would hike interest rates soon. The dollar index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of six major rivals, was trading higher by .20 per cent at 97.16. In cross-currency trades, the rupee firmed up further against the pound sterling to close at 83.72 from 83.94 per pound and also hardened against the Japanese Yen to conclude at 57.82 per 100 yens from 57.90 earlier.
The local unit, however, fell back against the euro to settle at 72.45 as compared to 72.43 yesterday. In forward market today, premium for dollar remained under pressure owing to continued receivings from exporters. The benchmark six-month premium payable in October declined to 126-128 paise from 131-132.5 paise and the far forward April 2018 contract also dropped to 272-274 paise from 278.5-280.5 paise on Wednesday.
In the international commodity front, crude prices snapped a five-day winning streak and plummeted sharply after deeper production cuts were ruled by Saudi Arabia even as OPEC reportedly announced it would extend cuts in oil output by nine months to March 2018.