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Rupee finishes strong, Dollar index loses ground

Friday,   15-Mar-2019   05:30 PM (IST)

The Indian rupee advanced to a fresh seven-month high, marking its biggest weekly rise in 12 weeks against the dollar, riding on continuous foreign fund inflows into local equity and bond markets amid expectation of the ruling party coming back in the power. After opening at 69.33/34 levels, rupee touched a high of 69.04/05 levels in today’s trade before settling at 69.09/10 to a dollar, its highest since August 10. Sporadic dollar purchases, suspected to be on behalf of the central bank, at various levels slowed the unit’s appreciation. On a weekly basis, the rupee rose 1.50%, advancing for the fifth week and positing its biggest weekly gain since week ended December 21. India’s benchmark BSE Sensex ended 0.71% higher, closing at fresh six-month high at 38,024.32. The NSE Nifty too ended 0.74% higher at 11,426.85 points. In the forward segment 1mth, 3mth and 6mth annualized premia ended the day at 4.34%, 4.08% and 3.79% respectively. India's foreign exchange reserves rose to $402.04 billion as of March 8, compared with $401.78 billion a week earlier, the Reserve Bank of India said on Friday.

The dollar index was headed for a biggest weekly loss in three months on a weekly basis, after last week’s weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data. The index was last trading 0.15% lower. Rally in British pound sterling also weighed on the dollar. The British pound sterling was last trading little changed after the British parliament voted seeking a delay in Britain's exit from the European Union, following a decision to stop a no-deal Brexit. Eur/Usd retains 1.1300 after EU February inflation came in-line with the market's expectations, failing to trigger some action around Eur/Usd. Meanwhile, the benchmark Brent crude gained this week amid supply cuts from OPEC and as U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela weigh. Most Asian currencies recouped early losses to end higher against the greenback. Attention shifts to US Michigan Consumer Confidence later in the day.