The rupee gained 11 paise against the US dollar on Wednesday, August 18, to settle at 74.24 (provisional), tracking weaker American currency against major rivals in the global markets. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local unit opened at 74.30 against the dollar and swung between 74.24 to 74.31 during the session. In an early trade session, the domestic unit gained five paise to 74.30 against the greenback. The domestic currency settled at 74.24 against the dollar, witnessing a gain of 11 paise against its previous close.
According to forex dealers, intense selling pressure in domestic equities and surge in crude prices restricted further gain in the local unit. Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, declined 0.10 per cent to 93.05.
What analysts say:
Mr Amit Pabari, MD, CR Forex:
”On the domestic side, the market could welcome a decision on the RoDTEP scheme which is aiming at refunding the duties paid by exporters. The scheme is roughly covering 65 per cent export community with a total benefit of Rs. 12,454 crores covering 8555 products. However, the impact of the same on rupee will remain limited due to intolerance of RBI on the appreciating side.
The recently released RBI bulletin also suggests that RBI is continuously converting its long forwards position into the spot as it fell from $59 billion to $49 billion at the end of June. Hence, the downside is likely to remain protected and limited up to 74.10-74.20 levels.
Broadly, the stronger US dollar could help the USDINR pair to jump above the resistance of 74.50 and extend its move up to 74.90-75.00 over the near term.”
Anindya Banerjee, DVP, Currency Derivatives & Interest Rate Derivatives at Kotak Securities:
”USDINR spot closed 11 paise lower near 74.24 levels but very much within the two-month-old range of 74.00 and 74.80/75.00 levels.
With a stronger US dollar index being countered by falling oil prices and corporate $ inflows, USDINR may continue to remain within the low volatile zone for some more time. Tonight, US FOMC minutes may be a market mover, which could likely push USDINR higher towards 74.40 levels, if they sound hawkish.”
Kshitij Purohit, Lead International & Commodities at CapitalVia Global Research Limited:
”In early Tuesday, the bids for the USD/INR are around 74.23, up 0.10 percent intraday. By press time, the Indian rupee (INR) was tracking the broad risk-off tone, which backed the USD to break a two-day decline. Fears about virus-driven impediments to the pandemic’s economic recovery take precedence over other factors contributing to the current risk-off mentality.
On a different note, the INR is weighed down by the government’s qualitative initiatives to bolster the economy, as well as the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) demand for fiscal relief packages.
On the domestic front, USD/INR August Future opened on a negative note and was moving in a marginally sideways to Bullish trend since morning. On the downside, 74.33-74.31 is intact as a major support zone, and prices have respected this zone in many of the past sessions but didn’t gave any closing below it on intraday charts.”
Domestic Equity Markets Today:
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex declined 162.78 points or 0.29 per cent to 55,629.49, while the broader NSE Nifty slipped 45.75 points or 0.28 per cent to 16,568.85. The equity benchmarks snapped their four-day record-breaking streak as traders booked profits at record highs today.
Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President, Equity Technical Research at Kotak Securities:
“The market had been rallying sharply over the past few sessions and hence investors booked some profit today, but not before key benchmark indices hit fresh record highs in early trade. After a long time on daily charts, Nifty has formed a bearish candle and intraday charts are also indicating a further weakness from current levels. In the near future, the benchmark index may consolidate between 16420 to 16700 levels.”
According to exchange data, the foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on August 17 as they offloaded shares worth Rs 343.73 crore. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, surged 0.77 per cent to $ 69.56 per barrel.