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Rupee ends flat at 71.56 per dollar ahead of RBI monetary policy meeting

Foreign funds purchased shares worth Rs 694.97 cr on a net basis on Wednesday and domestic institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 525.26 cr

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Rupee settles below 70 after three months, crude oil slides further

The rupee on Wednesday ended almost flat at 71.56 per US as participants preferred to wait for the Reserve Bank's interest rate decision for further cues.

The domestic currency has been trading in a narrow range ahead of RBI's monetary policy meeting outcome, scheduled for February 7.  

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange market, the rupee moved between 71.68 to 71.49 during the session, before finally ending at 71.56, showing a gain of just 1 paise.

On Tuesday, the rupee had settled 23 paise higher at 71.57 against the greenback.

"This week, there are relatively thin volume trades in currency markets, as many Asian markets are shut on Lunar New Year," HDFC Securities Head, PCG and Capital Markets Strategy, V K Sharma said.

He added that volatility for the USD-INR pair could be confined to a narrow range until the release of the policy statement.

According to Sunil Sharma, Chief Investment Officer, Sanctum Wealth Management, though Indian rupee is the worst performing emerging market currency over the last one month, it is expected to recover "should crude prices continue to slide and RBI announces a rate cut in Thursday's meeting".

Meanwhile, the index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading at 96.21, higher by 0.16 per cent.

Foreign funds purchased shares worth Rs 694.97 crore on a net basis on Wednesday, and domestic institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 525.26 crore, provisional data showed.

The benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.76 per cent to $61.51 per barrel. 

Meanwhile, domestic equity indices darted up for the fifth straight session on Wednesday on across-the-board buying amid expectations of a shift in RBI's policy stance.

The BSE Sensex vaulted 358.42 points, or 0.98 per cent, to close at 36,975.23, while the broader NSE Nifty gained 128.10 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 11,062.45.

The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/at 71.5731 and for rupee/euro at 81.5461. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 92.6886 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 65.21. 

First Published: Wed, February 06 2019. 18:10 IST