The Indian rupee on Monday weakened marginally against the US dollar ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) bi-monthly policy on Tuesday. The rupee has recouped most of the losses it made earlier this year to end just 0.27% lower so far for calendar year 2016.
The rupee opened at 66.30. At 9.11am, the home currency was trading at 66.32, down 0.12% from its previous close of 66.25.Traders are cautious on Nikkei India manufacturing purchasing managers’ Index data for March which is due on Monday after 10.30pm.
The RBI will announce its bi-monthly policy on Tuesday after 11am. According to Mint estimates, 10 of the 11 polled analysts expect RBI to pare the benchmark repo rate by 25 basis points (bps), accompanied by a statement indicating room for further rate reductions during the year. One economist expected a deeper 50 bps cut. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have turned net buyers in local equity markets so far this year. FIIs have bought $534.10 million from local equity and sold $1.23 billion in debt markets.
India’s benchmark Sensex rose 0.25% or 64.34 points to 25,333.98. Since 1 March to 30 March, FIIs bought $3.41 billion equities in the local markets helping the rally in stock markets. Equity indices have gained 10% or over 2,250 points during this month.
Meanwhile, India’s 10-year bond yield was trading at 7.467% as compared with its Friday’s close of 7.465%.
Most Asian were currencies trading higher. South Korean won was up 0.63%, Malaysian ringgit 0.57%, Japanese yen and Indonesian rupiah were up 0.17% each, Singapore dollar 0.14%, Thai baht rose 0.13% and Philippines peso 0.09%. However, China renminbi was down 0.44%.
The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 94.524, down 0.1% from its previous close of 94.619.
Data released in the US on Friday showed non-farm payrolls climbed by 215,000 and unemployment advanced to 5% from an eight-year low of 4.9%. The jobless rate rose as more people continued to seek work, a sign of confidence in the job market, a Reuters report noted.