The rupee on Monday settled 3 paise lower at 71.74 per US dollar in line with weaker key global currencies against the greenback, despite a strong rally in financial markets on renewed hopes of trade truce between Washington and Beijing.
After opening on a positive note, the rupee traded flat for a better part of the session before slipping into a negative territory. It finally settled at 71.74, registering a loss of 3 paise over its previous close. The domestic currency overlooked a host of encouraging factors including positive new on the US-China trade deal front, the government's disinvestment steps to curb fiscal deficit and robust foreign fund inflows. Experts said the rupee weakened mainly tracking strengthening of US dollar against the key global currencies. On the equities front, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 529.82 points, or 1.31 per cent, higher at 40,889.23. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled just shy of its life-time closing high, up 159.35 points, or 1.34 per cent, at 12,073.75. Foreign investors bought equities worth Rs 960.90 crore on Monday, as per provisional data available with stock exchanges. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.01 per cent to 98.27. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, traded 0.09 per cent lower at $63.33 per barrel. Meanwhile, the 10-year government bond yield was at 6.47 per cent on Monday. In the biggest privatisation drive ever, the Union Cabinet last week approved sale of government's stake in blue-chip oil firm BPCL, shipping firm SCI and onland cargo mover Concor, and decided to cut shareholding in select public sector firms below 51 per cent to boost revenue collections that have been hit by slowing economy. Analysts are of the view that a trade pact between the US and China is likely by the end of December 2019 after positive statements made by both sides last week. Further, they said that sentiment got a boost from FIIs preferring emerging markets such as India as the recent easy monetary stance of US Fed and ECB has improved liquidity in world markets.