Continuing its winning streak, the rupee climbed 21 paise against the US dollar on Thursday, December 24, to close at 73.55 (provisional) amid positive domestic equities and sustained foreign fund inflows, boosting investor sentiment. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local unit opened at 73.66 against the dollar and registered an intra-day high of 73.54. It witnessed a low of 73.66. In the opening trade session, the rupee surged by 14 paise to 73.62 against the greenback. The domestic unit finally closed at 73.55 against the dollar, registering an increase of 21 paise over its previous close. On Wednesday, December 23, the rupee had settled at 73.76 against the American currency, snapping its two-day losing streak.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was down 0.20 per cent to 90.23. According to traders, the weakness of the American currency against key rivals also supported the rupee. ''The US dollar is trading on a weak note as risk appetite rose on the expectation of an imminent Brexit trade deal between the UK and the European Union,'' said Reliance Securities in a research note. "Asian currencies were trading flat to stronger against the greenback this morning and could lend support to the domestic unit," the note added.
''As we approach the year 2021, the rupee movement will be guided primarily by the RBI intervention in the currency market to keep the INR in check. The RBI forex reserves are near all-time high levels. Any fall or softening in the prices of crude oil will support the rupee as India imports the bulk of its oil requirements, the pledge by global central banks to keep the system liquidity in excess is likely to weaken the USD, supporting the INR,'' said Mr. Nish Bhatt, Founder & CEO, Millwood Kane International.
According to provisional exchange data, the foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market, as they purchased shares worth Rs 536.13 crore on a net basis on December 23. On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 529.36 points or 1.14 per cent higher at 46,973.54, while the NSE Nifty surged 148.15 points or 1.09 per cent to 13,749.25.
''The frontline indexes closed strong this week, a shade above the 1 per cent mark in today's session. Almost all the major sectors participated in this up-move except for IT and Tech and Capital goods. Markets may be looking for positive cues from global markets in the coming days, as they re-open after a fairly long weekend after Christmas,'' said Dr. Joseph Thomas, Head of Research - Emkay Wealth Management.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, declined 0.35 per cent to $ 51.02 per barrel.