The rupee settled on a flat note against the US dollar on Friday, March 19, tracking a firm trend in domestic equity markets and a stronger American currency in overseas markets. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic unit opened lower at 72.57 against the dollar and registered an intra-day high of 72.46. It witnessed a low of 72.58. In an early trade session, the local unit declined three paise to 72.56 against the greenback. The rupee closed at 72.52 against the American currency, registering a rise of one paisa over its previous close. The local unit had closed at 72.53 against the dollar on Thursday, March 18.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, gained 0.08 per cent to 91.94. The rupee witnessed a volatile session throughout the week. On Thursday, the local unit erased some of its initial gains to settle two paise higher at 72.53 against the dollar amid subdued domestic market sentiment. On Wednesday, March 17, the rupee settled flat to 72.55 against the greenback. On Tuesday, March 16, the domestic unit fell nine paise lower to 72.55 against the dollar due to muted domestic equities.
"The forex market is still jittery about Fed's move and there are speculations of an early rate-hike which are keeping the US Yields higher. There is also an upside risk to the rapid spread of coronavirus which will keep USDINR spot afloat. But until the spot is trading below 73 zone, the trend will be sideways to bearish within 72.10-72.80. The USDINR spot has to consistently trade above the resistance of 73 to breach 73.20-73.25 zone,'' said Rahul Gupta, Head Of Research- Currency, Emkay Global Financial Services.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 641.72 points or 1.30 per cent higher at 49,858.24, while the broader NSE Nifty surged 186.15 points or 1.28 per cent to 14,744.00.
“Downward activity in the long term bond yields and weakness in Brent crude have boosted the sentiment of our market. The bullish momentum continued directly from 14350/48580 to 14780/50000. Heavyweight shares in the index rose sharply. On a weekly basis and daily basis, the market has formed reversal formation after completing the corrective move at 14350/48580 levels,'' said Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President, Equity Technical Research at Kotak Securities.
According to exchange data, the foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital market as they bought shares worth Rs 1,258.47 crore on March 18. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.33 per cent to $ 64.12 per barrel.