The rupee continued its winning streak for the third straight session and gained six paise against the US dollar on Thursday, January 21, to close at a near five-month high mark of 72.99, amid strong domestic equities and weaker American currency. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic unit opened higher at 72.96 and registered an intraday high of 72.93. Towards the fag-end of the session, the rupee shed some of its initial gains. In an early session, the rupee gained by seven paise to 72.98 against the greenback. The local unit closed higher by six paise at 72.99 to the dollar, a level which hadn’t been achieved since September 1, 2020. On Wednesday, January 20, the rupee had closed at 73.05 against the American currency.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, declined 0.31 per cent to 90.19. ”The rupee opened on positive at 72.90 against the US dollar in opening trade on Thursday morning tracking weakness in dollar index, On Wednesday it was closed at 72.964 against greenback, the rupee appreciated 0.2 per cent this Wednesday, it was the best day since December 31,” said Kshitij Purohit, Product Manager, Currency & Commodities at CapitalVia Global Research.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex declined 167.36 points or 0.34 per cent to end at 49,624.76, while the NSE Nifty declined 54.35 points or 0.37 per cent at 14,590.35. ”Indian equity benchmark indices failed to hold on to higher intraday levels and ended with losses on January 21 led by weekly F&O expiry and nervousness spreading ahead of Union Budget due on Feb 01. Sensex hit an all-time high of 50,184.01 in intraday trade. At close, the Nifty was at 14,590.35, down 54 points or 0.37 percent,” said Mr. Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
”Nifty has shown signs of profit taking after such a rise. Technically it has formed a Dark Cloud Cover on daily charts, showing possibility of follow on selling. The steepness of selling in the afternoon suggests that the Nifty could keep running into resistance/profit taking over the next few sessions,” he added.
According to exchange data, the foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 2,289.05 crore on January 20. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, dropped 0.87 per cent to $ 55.59 per barrel.