The rupee appreciated 10 paise higher against the US dollar in the closing session on Tuesday, November 24, settling at 74.01 (provisional), tracking strong in the domestic equities and a weak American currency. In the opening session today, the rupee rose 21 paise to touch 73.90 against the dollar. According to traders, the investor risk sentiment improved amid the growing hopes of an early rollout and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic unit opened at 74.10 against the dollar and touched an intraday high of 73.88. It registered a low of 74.12 in the day trade. The domestic unit finally settled at 74.01 against the greenback, registering a rise of 10 paise over its previous close. On Monday, November 24, the rupee rose five paise to settle at more than a two-week high of 74.11 against the dollar.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was down by 0.32 per cent to 92.20. "Foreign fund inflows into the domestic equity markets could also help the local unit. However, these flows are being continuously mopped up by the central bank," said Reliance Securities in a research note.
Pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca said on November 23 that an interim analysis of the clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in the UK and Brazil showed that it was 70 per cent effective on average, becoming the third drugmaker worldwide to announce promising results.
"Rupee appreciated on consistent FII inflows and positive development over coronavirus vaccine. Further, the rupee gained strength on weakness in dollar and rise in risk appetite in the global markets," said Saif Mukadam, Research Analyst, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas. According to exchange data, the foreign institutional investors were the net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 4,738.44 crore on a net basis on Monday.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE benchmark Sensex settled at 445.87 points higher at 44,523.02 while the NSE Nifty rose 128.70 points to close at 13,055.15. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.74 per cent to USD 46.40 per barrel.
''Volumes on the NSE were a little lower than the previous three days. Among sectors, Banks, Auto, Metals, Realty and Pharma indices were the main gainers. Intraday dips are being bought into. Advance decline ratio remains very positive. A stable and gradual move towards Nifty 13200-13250 continues on expected lines,'' said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
The market index heavyweights such as Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, and ITC contributed the most to the indices' gain today.