The rupee Thursday appreciated 14 paise to 70.32 against the US dollar in early trade amid weakness in the American currency on uncertainty over Federal Reserve rate hikes following the release of Fed meet minutes.
Forex traders said the weakness in the US dollar against other currencies overseas, falling crude oil prices and fresh foreign fund inflows pushed the rupee higher.
The minutes of US Fed’s latest policy meeting showed the policymakers may slow the pace of rate hikes to prevent a slowdown in the economy.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the rupee opened weak at Rs 70.49, but soon appreciated to 70.32 against the greenback, up 14 paise over its previous closing price.
Benchmark equity indices opened on a choppy note Thursday as investors turned cautious ahead of quarterly results of key bluechips amid weak Asian cues. The 30-share Sensex was trading 40.08 points, or 0.11 per cent, lower at 36,172.83.
The NSE Nifty too witnessed similar movement, and was trading 8.30 points, or 0.08 per cent, lower at 10,846.85. Analysts expect market to continue to remain volatile in the coming months in the wake of upcoming general elections.
The rupee on Wednesday had depreciated by 25 paise to close at 70.46 against the US dollar. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading lower at 60.89 per barrel, lower by 0.90 per cent.
Meanwhile, foreign funds bought shares worth Rs 276.14 crore from the capital markets on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 439.67 crore on Wednesday, provisional data showed.