The rupee on Thursday opened 7 paise higher at 70.27 against the US dollar amid subdued Asian equities and rise in crude oil prices. The domestic currency Wednesday appreciated by 10 paise to close at 70.34, marking the second straight session of gain.
Forex traders said the rupee strengthened after the RBI announced a plan to conduct the open market operation. On the other hand, heavy selling in domestic equities and foreign fund outflows restricted its gains.
Foreign institutional investors net sold equities worth Rs 1,142.44 crore on Wednesday, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.
Today, USD/INR pair is expected to quote in the range of 70.20 and 70.90, says Gaurang Somaiya, Research Analyst(Currency) at Motilal Oswal Financial Services (MOFSL).
On the global front, Asian shares steadied on Thursday on news that US President Donald Trump is planning to delay tariffs on auto imports, providing much needed relief to markets hit by a flare-up in trade tensions and on weak US and and Chinese economic data. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat, with both Australia and South Korea little changed. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.6 per cent, with banks hurt by weak earnings, Reuters reported.
In commodities, oil prices edged up on the prospect of mounting tensions in the Middle East hitting global supplies despite an unexpected build in US crude inventories.