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Rupee ended flat, Euro lower vs. Dollar

Wednesday,   15-May-2019   05:37 PM (IST)

The Indian rupee ended the session flat at 70.3350/3450 levels compared to its opening at 70.34/35 levels. Rupee touched the high of 70.1850/1950 levels today as global risk-off abated following U.S. President Donald Trump’s optimistic comments on a trade deal with China and lower crude oil prices. However, investors are still reluctant to purchase local assets in run-up to election results and amid possibility of trade talks taking a wrong turn. Rupee traded in the range of 70.1850-70.39 levels today. Most Asian currencies ended lower against the dollar on weak Chinese data. Indian shares shed early gains to end lower today dented by Yes Bank Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd, as uncertainty over the outcome of the general elections and ongoing Sino-U.S. trade dispute kept sentiment fragile. The broader NSE Nifty closed 0.58% lower at 11,157.00, while the benchmark BSE Sensex ended 0.55% weaker at 37,114.88. Indian government bonds fell for the first time in three sessions as investors booked profits a week before the results of the nation’s general elections. In the forward segment 1mth, 3mth and 6mth annualized premia ended the day at 4.46%, 4.32% and 4.25% respectively.

The euro held at a one-week low on Wednesday, ignoring data from Germany that showed the economy returned to growth in the first quarter, as trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies cast a shadow over risk appetite. The single currency has been caught in the cross-currents of an escalating dispute between Washington and Beijing since last week, unable to conclusively rise above the $1.1250 level. U.S. President Donald Trump threatened higher tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports last week, and Beijing responded with planned tariff hikes of its own on Monday. The escalation in the trade dispute comes at a time when latest data from Germany showed the economy returned to growth in the March quarter as householders spent more freely and construction activity picked up. The single currency was broadly steady at $1.1213 - just above a one-week low of $1.1197 hit in the Asian session and more than 3% below a 2019 high of nearly $1.16 in early January. Germany’s economic figures were a sole bright indicator in an otherwise slate of dismal data. China on Wednesday reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for April, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more stimulus as the trade war with the United States rumbles on. The Aussie dollar dropped as low as $0.6922, its lowest level since Jan. 3 when a flash crash in the foreign exchange markets rocked major currencies. Barring that level, the currency was at its weakest in three years and down 0.2% on the day. The weak data gave further impetus to Aussie bears to add to their negative bets with net outstanding short positions still below 2019 highs of above $5.2 billion. The Aussie is often seen as a proxy for Chinese growth because of Australia’s export-reliant economy and China being the country’s main destination for its commodities. Domestic data added to the woes, with the pace of growth in Australian wages stagnating. Neighboring New Zealand saw its currency dip 0.1% to $0.6567. The Chinese Yuan itself was slightly improved on the day at 6.8993 per U.S. dollar, but still close to a five-month low hit on Tuesday.