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Rupee ended lower, Euro higher vs. Dollar

Tuesday,   24-Jan-2023   04:14 PM (IST)

The Indian rupee ended the session lower at 81.72/73 levels compared to its opening at 81.50/51 levels after touching the low of 81.7650/7750 levels amid mixed cues from Asian markets and as the dollar index attempted to gain. Rupee traded in the range of 81.43-81.7650 levels. Broader Asian currencies and stock markets were both choppy through the day. The Indonesian rupiah rallied 1.2% and the offshore Chinese Yuan slipped, while most regional markets remained shut for the Lunar New Year holidays. Domestic traders also said they were keeping a watch on oil prices as they steadily climbed to $88 per barrel. Traders had earlier cited fixing-related dollar demand and stop losses of speculators being triggered after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was suspected to be in the market on Monday. Indian government bond yields ended largely unchanged as traders avoided positions in a supply-heavy week while awaiting the federal budget announcement due on Feb. 1. Indian shares erased gains, tracking a slide in financials as investors booked profits after strong third-quarter earnings ahead of the federal budget due next week, offsetting the advance in technology and auto stocks. Key indices Nifty50 closed flat at 18,118 levels, whereas the S&P BSE Sensex closed at 60,979 levels, up 37 points or 0.06%. In the forward segment 1mth, 3mth and 6mth annualized premia ended the day at 1.89%, 2.62% and 2.44% respectively.

The dollar hovered near a nine-month low against the euro and surrendered recent gains against the yen on Tuesday, as traders weighed the risks of a U.S. recession against the outlook for Federal Reserve monetary policy. Euro zone data on Tuesday reinforced the view that the economy is surviving a winter of intense price pressures reasonably well, analysts said. The U.S. dollar index - which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.1% to 101.93, heading back towards the 7-1/2-month low of 101.51 reached last week. Money market traders see only two more quarter-point rate hikes by the Fed to a peak of around 5% by June, before it starts cutting rates later in the year. The Fed itself has insisted it still has 75 bps of increases in the pipeline. By contrast, the euro has gained nearly 0.8% in the last week, lifted by a barrage of European Central Bank officials signalling that tackling inflation is going to require more rate rises than markets currently anticipate. Surveys on Tuesday showed euro zone business activity made a surprise return to modest growth in January, and service-sector activity in Germany expanded for the first time since June, although price pressures remained sticky. The euro, which traded around its highest since last April on Monday, was last flat against the dollar at $1.8725, narrowly down from a session high of $1.0898. Meanwhile, ECB President Christine Lagarde on Monday reiterated that the central bank will keep raising interest rates quickly to tame inflation, which is still more than 5 times its target rate of 2%. Elsewhere, the dollar fell 0.4% to 130.18 yen, breaking a two-day rally. Last week, the dollar fell as low as 127.215 yen, its weakest since May, before a Bank of Japan policy review as investors bet the BOJ would begin to end its stimulus programme. The BOJ, however, left policy unchanged, giving the dollar some respite. But analysts believe a shift by the BOJ will happen sooner, rather than later, as policymakers make tweaks to their yield curve control (YCC) mechanism, which pins short-term rates at -0.1% and keeps 10-year yields in a band around zero. The more volatile G10 currencies edged up against the dollar. Sterling and the New Zealand dollar were both last up 0.2% at $1.2399 and $0.6504, respectively, while the Australian dollar was flat around $0.7023, hovering close to its highest in five months.