Snapping a three-day downward move, the rupee on Wednesday ended six paise higher at 61.59 versus the dollar on hopes that weak US jobs data would result in the Fed extending its economic stimulus.
However, the hefty initial gains of the rupee, which had jumped to 61.05 intra-day, were substantially erased on month-end demand for US dollars from private oil firms and some defence related purchases, amid fall in domestic stocks.
The rupee resumed sharply higher at 61.10 per dollar as against the last closing level of 61.65 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market and moved up further to 61.05 per dollar.
However, the rupee failed to maintain initial gains and ended at 61.59 per dollar, clocking a marginal gain of six paise or 0.10 per cent from its last close. The rupee had fallen by 42 paise or 0.69 per cent in previous three days.
“Rupee was seen opening on a very strong note supported by dollar weakness and a rally in global stock markets. However, later during the day dollar demand by private oil company and by defence put pressure on the rupee. In addition to this, Indian stock markets were seen trading in red,” said Abhishek Goenka, Founder & CEO, India Forex Advisors.
US data showed on Tuesday that employers there added 148,000 workers in September — lower than the 170,000-180,000 jobs estimated by experts. This spurred speculation that the US Federal Reserve will not cut economic stimulus this year.
The $85-billion-a-month stimulus has led to a surge of capital inflows into emerging marklets like India.
Meanwhile, the Indian stock market benchmark Sensex dropped by 97.09 points or 0.47 per cent to end at nearly one-week low of 20,767.88.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices extended their losses in Asian trade today as dealers focused on rising stockpiles that indicate weak demand in the world’s biggest economy, analysts said. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in December, slipped 16 cents to $98.14 a barrel.
Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services, India said: “Today rupee gave up (most of) its gain after a strong opening as dollar index traded positively throughout the day and local equities also closed on weak note which further dented the Rupee movement. The trading range for the USD/INR pair is expected to be within 61.00 to 62.50“.
Forward dollar premiums reacted downwards on fresh receipts from exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in March moved down to 223-227 paise from Tuesday’s close of 225-1/2-230 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in September also eased to 448-452 paise from 449-454 paise.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 61.5340 and for the euro at 84.7495.
The rupee recovered slightly to 99.41 against the pound sterling from Tuesday’s close of 99.47, while declined further to end at 84.69 per euro from 84.28.
It also dropped against the Japanese yen to 63.29 per 100 yen from 62.69.