The rupee on Wednesday rebounded 54 paise to finish at 71.24 against the US dollar as declining crude oil prices eased pressure off emerging market currencies. However, foreign fund outflows capped the gains in the currency.
After a two-day sell-off, global equities and currencies stabilised after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said production capacity at its plant targeted by drone attacks over the weekend would be fully restored by the end of the month. The rupee opened at 71.47 and surged to an intra-day high of 71.17 against the US dollar. The currency finally settled at 71.24, higher by 54 paise over its previous close of 71.78.
The rupee had fallen by 86 paise on Monday and Tuesday as investors fretted over the impact of higher crude oil prices on the current account and fiscal deficits. On the stock markets front, the 30-share BSE Sensex gained 82.79 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 36,563.88. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty gained 23.05 points, or 0.21 per cent, to finish at 10,840.65.
“Indian rupee led gains in emerging market Asian currencies as crude prices eased after Saudi Arabia partially restored production at its damaged oil plant,” HDFC Securities Head of PCG and Capital Markets Strategy V K Sharma said, adding that lower crude oil prices calmed concerns about inflation and the fiscal side which will provide room for the RBI to lower interest rate in the coming October meet. The Reserve Bank of India, which has already reduced the key policy rate four times in the current calendar year, is scheduled to announce its next bi-monthly monetary policy on October 4.
Meanwhile, crude oil benchmark, Brent crude oil futures were down 28 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $64.27 a barrel by 1108 GMT. US WTI crude futures were down 45 cents, or 0.8 per cent, at $58.89.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth a net Rs 959.09 crore on Wednesday, provisional exchange data showed. The Sensex had fallen 900 points on Monday and Tuesday following the surge in crude oil prices and capital outflows. The broader markets performed in line with the benchmark as both BSE Midcap and Smallcap ended with gains of 0.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively. All the sectoral indices ended on a positive note with realty, metal and oil & gas being the top gainers.