Ending its two-day losing streak, the rupee soared 13 paise higher against the US dollar on Friday, December 4, and settled at 73.80 (provisional) as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept the interest rates unchanged for the third time in a row. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local unit opened at 73.81 and registered an intra-day high of 73.70. It witnessed a low of 73.81. in early trade, the rupee surged 15 paise higher to 73.38 against the dollar. Closed at 73.80 per dollar, it recorded a rise of 13 paise. On Thursday, December 3, the domestic unit had settled at 73.93 against the American currency.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was down by 0.16 per cent to 90.56. According to traders, sustained foreign fund inflows, positive opening in domestic equities, and weakness of the American currency in the overseas market also supported the domestic unit.
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The RBI today left the interest rates untouched for the third straight time amid persistently high inflation and said that the economy was recuperating fast and would return to positive growth in the current quarter itself. The Monetary Policy Committee decided to continue with the accommodative stance of monetary policy as long as necessary — at least through the current financial year and into the next year," said RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.
According to exchange data, the foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 3,637.42 crore on a net basis on December 3. "A combination of a weak dollar index, optimism on the vaccine front, renewed round of fiscal stimulus talks in the United States and robust inflows give the rupee a slightly appreciating bias in the near term," said Sugandha Sachdeva VP-Metals, Energy & Currency Research, Religare Broking.
"Rupee had a range bound session as RBI neutralized the impact of systemic liquidity on account of dollar buying in spot market," said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst (Commodity & Currency) at LKP Securities. The rupee range remains in 73.55-74.25, he added.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 446.90 points or 1 per cent higher at 45,079.55, while the NSE Nifty climbed 124.65 points or 0.95 per cent to 13,258.55.
''Indian benchmark equity indices rallied and closed at another record high after the RBI kept rates on hold and did not announce steps to withdraw liquidity in the system. Nifty closed the week up for the fifth consecutive week. While the trigger of RBI policy is out of the way, markets globally now look forward to rising chances of an early US economic stimulus package. Post a good weekly close, we may see some more upside in the early part of the week,'' said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.77 per cent to USD 49.57 per barrel.