The Indian rupee on Thursday strengthened for the sixth consecutive sessions and hit 1-month high against the US dollar, after foreign institutional investors continued to buy equities in local markets. FII’s bought $812.87 million in equities since last ten consecutive sessions. The weakening of US dollar against the major currencies also helped the local unit.
The rupee opened at 66.59 per US dollar and touched a high of 66.58 — a level last seen on 12 May. At 9.10am, the home currency was trading at 66.59, up 0.08% from its previous close of 66.65.
India’s benchmark Sensex index fell 0.11% or 29.09 points to 26,991.57. So far this year, Sensex gained 3.5%.
Most Asian currencies were trading higher against the US dollar. Malaysian ringgit was up 0.61%, Japanese yen 0.39%, Philippines peso 0.23%, Indonesian rupiah 0.21%, South Korean won 0.12%. However, Singapore dollar was down 0.07%.
The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 93.448, down 0.16% from its previous close of 93.59.
The government will release the April factory output data on 10 June. According to a Bloomberg analyst poll, the factory output will shrink 0.6% in April, against a 0.1% rise in March. The consumer price inflation and wholesale price inflation data will be out on 13 May and 14 May respectively.
Traders are cautious as the US Federal Reserve officials will meet on 14-15 June to discuss policy.
Meanwhile, India’s 10-year bond yield was trading at 7.491%, as compared with its Wednesday’s close of 7.49%.
So far this year, the rupee has weakened 0.85%, while foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have bought $2.66 billion from the local equity market and sold $1.25 billion in debt markets.
South Korea’s central bank unexpectedly cut the benchmark interest rate to a new record low as concerns rose that the government’s push to restructure indebted companies is putting pressure on the economy. The won moved sharply lower, Bloomberg reported.