After registering marginal gains in early trade, the rupee settled flat against the US dollar on Thursday, February 4, at 72.96 (provisional) for the second consecutive day, even as the domestic equity markets scaled fresh highs. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic unit opened at 72.92 against the dollar and registered an intra-day high of 72.90. It witnessed a low of 72.96. In an early trade session, the local unit rose marginally by six paise to 72.90 against the greenback. The rupee ended at 72.96 against the American currency, unchanged from its previous close.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, advanced 0.28 per cent to 91.42. The rupee is trading in a narrow range as market participants are looking ahead to cues from the Monetary Policy Committee decision due this week and the outlook on the economy by the central bank, analysts said.
''The daily range is well defined at USDINR being in a range of 72.80/73.20. Despite a 100 pip fall in Euro USDINR is trading in the same range which speaks volumes about the flows. Stock Markets seem very happy with the budget and good stocks still delivering despite a negative stock market today. Exporters to keep selling the goid upticks and more if they get near to 73.15 and 73.30. Importers to hold to their positions, cover 1 week of imports and keep a stop loss of 73.30 which should be an important resistance for the pair to cross,'' said Anil Kumar Bhansali, Head- Treasury, Finrex Treasury Advisors.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 358.54 points or 0.71 per cent higher at 50,614.29, while the NSE Nifty surged 105.70 points or 0.71 per cent to 14,895.65.
“The Budget rally continues for the fourth consecutive session. The Nifty/Sensex gained over 98/358 points. Today, after a muted opening the Nifty / Sensex witnessed narrow range activity. However, in the late morning once again bulls took the charge near 14750/50000 levels and due to strong buying interest the index rallied over 100/650 points from its low. The intra-day rally was largely supported by the PSU Banks, Oil & Gas & FMCG stocks. We are of the view that, the larger texture of the market is positive but intra-day chart suggest the index may take a temporary pause near 15000/51300 levels,'' said Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President, Equity Technical Research at Kotak Securities.
According to exchange data, the foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 2,520.92 crore on February 3. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.55 per cent to $ 58.78 per barrel.