Rupee Closes Higher At 75.61 Against Dollar Ahead Of GDP Data

The rupee is down 5.96% against the dollar so far this year

The rupee gained by 15 paise to end at 75.61 against the US dollar on Friday, ahead of the release of official data on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the quarter ended March 31. After starting the session marginally higher at 75.70 compared to its previous close of 75.76, the rupee moved in a range of 75.47-75.72 against the US currency before shutting shop with a gain of 0.20 per cent. Strength in most Asian currencies against the greenback aong with foreign fund inflows supported the rupee, say analysts.

Domestic equity markets ended a choppy trading session nearly 1 per cent higher as buying picked up in consumer goods and pharmaceutical stocks in late afternoon deals, extending gains to a third straight session.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed at a near one-month high of 9,580.30, up 90.20 points from its previous close, and the leaner S&P BSE Sensex benchmark settled up 223.51 points at 32,424.10.

Crude oil prices rose about 2 per cent on Thursday as a steady improvement in US refining activity offset a surprise build in crude and diesel inventories and on worries that China’s new Hong Kong security law could result in trade sanctions.

Brent futures – the global benchmark for crude oil – rose 1.6 per cent to end at $35.29 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the domestic capital market, having purchased equities worth Rs 2,354.14 crore on Thursday, provisional exchange data showed.

The dollar index – which gauges the dollar’s strength against six currencies – declined 0.08 per cent.

Analysts awaited the GDP data due at 5:30 pm for more clarity on the damage caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has pushed the economy into a standstill and forced many businesses to trim workforce impacting a large sum of workers.

“The rupee marked the first weekly gain in the last four weeks amid foreign fund inflows and a weaker American dollar. This month so far, foreign institutions bought equities worth $1.266 billion. Safe-haven currencies like dollar and yen fell after improvement in risk-on sentiments,” said Devarsh Vakil, head advisory at brokerage HDFC Securities.

The rupee registered a weekly gain of 0.45 per cent (34 paise) against the US dollar. At the current level, it is down 5.96 per cent against US currency dollar so far this year.

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