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Re completes best week since June

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completed its biggest weekly gain since June amid optimism that the nation’s new finance minister would announce measures to narrow the budget deficit and attract investment.

The rupee advanced 0.9 per cent this week to 55.2850 per dollar in Mumbai, the biggest gain since the five days through June 29, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was little changed on Friday. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was unchanged at 10.20 per cent. The gauge fell 110 basis points, or 1.10 percentage point, this week.

P Chidambaram, in his first speech after taking office, said on August 6 that he would unveil steps to improve public finances and clarify tax laws. Disinvestment Secretary said on August 8 the government might start its asset-sale programme next month to increase revenue.

The was also strengthened by speculation that global central banks will take steps such as debt purchases to spur growth.

“A lot in India’s trajectory will depend on how the new finance minister will improve investors’ confidence,” Sergey Dergachev, who helps manage $8.5 billion in emerging-market funds at Union Investment Privatfonds in Frankfurt, said in an e-mail. “I see some scope for improvement.”

German Chancellor backed the European Central Bank’s bond-buying plan, her spokesman said on August 6. A government report yesterday showed India’s industrial production in June unexpectedly contracted 1.8 per cent from a year earlier, adding to signs of faltering growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Three-month onshore rupee forwards traded at 56.37 per dollar, compared with 56.33 yesterday, and offshore non-deliverable contracts were unchanged at 56.25. Forwards are agreements to buy or sell assets at a set price and date. Non-deliverable contracts are settled in dollars.

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