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Rupee ended flat, Dollar higher vs. major currencies

Thursday,   19-Nov-2020   04:34 PM (IST)

The Indian rupee ended the session flat at 74.2650/2750 levels compared to its opening at 74.29/30 levels after touching the high of 74.22/23 levels as portfolio inflows capped any broad decline. Rupee traded in the range of 74.22-74.3350 levels. Indian government bond yields ended largely unchanged, as traders’ awaited further clarity on the central bank’s bond purchases, after a special open market operation today. The S&P BSE Sensex ended the day at 43,599 levels, down 580 points, or 1.31 per cent while NSE's Nifty closed the session at 12,771, down 166 points, or 1.29 per cent. In the forward segment 1mth, 3mth and 6mth annualized premia ended the day at 3.16%, 3.49% and 4.11% respectively.

The dollar strengthened against the major currencies on Thursday as broad optimism about COVID-19 vaccines ran into worries about rising infection numbers and risks to the fragile global economic recovery. The market mood is mixed as rising US coronavirus figures counter hopes for a quick via a vaccine. US coronavirus deaths have hit the grim milestone of 250,000 and hospitalizations have hit a new high above 79,000. While there are some tentative signs of flattening of the case curve, additional states are imposing restrictions. New York's schools will close in the most high-profile development. German coronavirus infections and deaths remain elevated but France is beginning to bend the case curve. Japan is also suffering an increase in cases. Pfizer and BioNTech reported efficacy of 95% in their updated vaccine candidate figures, ahead of asking for emergency use authorization. The latest report also shows immunization is sustained in high-risk patients. Further information from Moderna and other companies is awaited. AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford reported significant immune response among adults in its Phase 2 trial and said that Phase 3 figures are likely within several weeks. Meanwhile, UK and EU have yet to reach an agreement on future relations ahead of an EU leaders' videoconference later in the day. Apart from talks with the UK, the 27 leaders in the bloc will try to unleash a long-term budget, after objections from Poland and Hungary over rule-of-law clauses. Market now awaits US Unemployment Claims, set to remain around 700,000, indicating stabilization after a gradual decline. Existing Home Sales and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index are also eyed. Oil prices are stable around $41 amid reports that the United Arab Emirates could leave OPEC amid a rift with Saudi Arabia.