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Rupee ended lower, Pound higher vs. Dollar

Friday,   12-Apr-2019   05:37 PM (IST)

The Indian rupee ended the session lower at 69.15/16 levels compared to its opening at 69.04/05 levels after touching the low of 69.37/38 levels following media reports that India's Supreme Court has ordered status quo in Essar Steel insolvency case, halting ArcelorMittal's payment of INR420 billion ($6.06 billion). Inflows into local assets likely eased and upbeat data from the U.S. lifted demand for greenback. However, profit booking by traders trimmed some losses. Rupee traded in the range of 69.03-69.37 levels today. Focus also remains on India’s general elections that began yesterday, and voting will be held in several phases through May. Indian shares ended higher boosted by heavyweight ITC Ltd. The benchmark BSE Sensex closed up 0.41 percent at 38,767.11, while the broader NSE Nifty ended 0.4 percent higher at 11,643.45. Indian government bonds fell for a third consecutive week, as crude oil prices rose. In the forward segment 1mth, 3mth and 6mth annualized premia ended the day at 5.29%, 4.79% and 4.51% respectively. India's foreign exchange reserves rose to $413.78 billion, as of April 5, compared with $411.91 billion a week earlier, the Reserve Bank of India said. February Industrial Output is at 0.10% y/y (Jan 1.70 % y/y), February Manufacturing Output is at -0.30% y/y (Jan 1.30% y/y) and March CPI Inflation is at  2.86 % y/y (Feb 2.57 % y/y.

The GBP/USD pair is nearing the 1.3100 level amid broad dollar's weakness and despite the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations. Focus on US Michigan Consumer Sentiment later today. EUR/USD is trading above 1.1300, setting new two-week highs. Euro-zone industrial output dropped by 0.2% in February, better than expected. The focus later shifts to US Consumer Sentiment. The British pound struggled to find direction on Friday as the immediate risks around Brexit were pushed back by this week’s delay to the exit date and traders searched for reasons to bet on the currency one way or the other. European Union leaders this week agreed to an up to six-month delay to Brexit, removing the immediate threat of a no-deal exit for Britain but also leaving the likelihood of months of political uncertainty in the United Kingdom.