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Rupee ended higher, Pound higher vs. dollar

Thursday,   13-Feb-2020   05:22 PM (IST)

The Indian rupee ended the session higher at intraday high of 71.3150/3250 levels compared to its opening at 71.39/40 levels as a decline in oil prices and the dollar index helped the local unit trim early losses triggered by a spike in the number of coronavirus cases. Rupee traded in the range of 71.3150-71.4925 levels today. The benchmark Brent crude oil contract, which traded steady for most part of the session, fell 1.1% in late trade to $55.19 per barrel after OPEC and IEA reports cut back demand forecasts for this year on the back of the coronavirus outbreak in China. The S&P BSE Sensex dipped 106 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 41,460 levels. The broader Nifty50 index gave up the 12,200 mark to settle at 12,175, down 27 points, or 0.22 per cent. Indian government bonds ended higher for first time in four sessions, with benchmark bond at record high, on value buying and as sentiment remained bullish amid anticipation of a further downward move in yields, even as inflation jumped. In the forward segment 1mth, 3mth and 6mth annualized premia ended the day at 3.18%, 3.64% and 3.68% respectively.

Sterling strengthened slightly on Thursday as traders unwound short positions after recent economic data which some analysts said justified last month’s Bank of England decision not to cut interest rates. Growth in the UK showed no change in the fourth quarter on Tuesday, despite market expectations that it would be slower, and on Thursday a closely watched survey showed house prices rose at their fastest pace in nearly three years. The pound was trading up 0.1% at $1.2967, just above the 2020 low of $1.2873 it hit on Monday. Reuters analysts saw the currency pair gaining as other major currencies fell and noted recent sterling shorts unwinding on Thursday. Against the euro, sterling rose to a two-month high of 83.80 pence, mostly due to a weaker euro, before reversing some of those gains and trading down 0.1% at 84 pence. Some analysts forecast troubled times ahead for the pound as the UK embarks on a lengthy and complex negotiation with the remaining 27 European Union countries. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reshape his government on Thursday, appointing a team he hopes will deliver his vision for Britain beyond its exit from the EU and heal divisions both in his Conservative Party and the country.