The Indian rupee on Thursday strengthened for the sixth consecutive session against the US dollar, tracking gains in the local equity and Asian currencies markets.
The rupee opened at 66.44 and touched a high of 66.43 a dollar. At 9.12am, the home currency was trading at 66.43 per dollar, up 0.05% from its previous close of 66.47.
India’s benchmark Sensex index rose 0.44% or 124.55 points to 28,417.36. So far this year, it has gained 9%.
The benchmark 10-year government bond yield was trading at 6.793% from Wednesday’s close of 6.783%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
The rupee is down 0.45% till date this year, while foreign institutional investors have bought $6.88 billion in equity and sold $119.20 million in debt markets.
Most Asian currencies were trading higher. Malaysian ringgit was up 0.6%, Taiwan dollar 0.2%, South Korean won 0.11%, Indonesian rupiah 0.08%, China renminbi 0.08%, Philippines peso 0.07% and China offshore 0.05%. However, Japanese yen was down 0.62%, Singapore dollar 0.15% and Thai baht 0.1%.
The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 95.414, down 0.01% from its previous close of 95.431.
Overnight, Opec agreed to cut its oil output for the first time since 2008, with the group’s leader Saudi Arabia softening its stance on arch-rival Iran amid mounting pressure from low oil prices.
US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers that the majority of the central bank’s policy-setting group sees an interest-rate increase as likely this year. Yellen is scheduled to speak again on Thursday, as are regional Fed chiefs for Atlanta, Minneapolis and Philadelphia, Reuters reported.