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Rupee extends gains, climbs 4 paise to 71.61 against US dollar

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Press Trust of India Mumbai
Extending gains for the third day, the rupee climbed 4 paise to close at 71.61 against the US dollar on Thursday amid easing crude oil prices and weakening of the greenback overseas.
Forex traders said the rupee consolidated in a narrow range as gains were restricted by sustained foreign fund outflows and robust selling in domestic equities.
Moreover, market participants will be keeping an eye on third quarter GDP growth number scheduled to be released on Friday.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 71.65 to the US dollar. During the day, it swung between a high of 71.55 and a low of 71.69.
The domestic unit finally finished at 71.61, up 4 paise from its previous close.
Meanwhile, investor sentiment remained fragile amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak turning into a pandemic, traders said.
The death toll from the virus epidemic now stands at 2,744 in mainland China and there are now nearly 81,000 cases in total.
"Rupee consolidated in a narrow range but traded with a slightly negative bias against the US dollar ahead of the preliminary GDP number that will be released from the US later this evening," said Gaurang Somaiyaa, Forex & Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
Somaiyaa further noted that "on the domestic front, growth number will be released tomorrow and weaker-than-expected number could keep the rupee under pressure".
The global crude oil benchmark Brent futures fell 2.11 per cent to trade at USD 52.30 per barrel.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the Indian capital markets, offloading equities worth a net Rs 3,127.36 crore on Thursday, according to provisional exchange data.
"Rupee heads for the third day of gain following weaker dollar index and lower crude oil prices," said V K Sharma, Head PCG and Capital Markets Strategy, HDFC Securities.
"Indian sovereign bonds were steady as a slide in oil prices is seen easing inflationary pressures. A decline in US Treasury yields and RBI's announcement of long-term repurchase agreements provided further support," he added.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, slipped 0.25 per cent to 98.74.
The 10-year Indian government bond yield was at 6.38 per cent.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 71.7291 and for rupee/euro at 77.9796. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 93.1641 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 64.97.
On the equity front, the 30-share BSE Sensex finally settled 143.30 points, or 0.36 per cent, lower at 39,745.66. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty fell 45.20 points or 0.39 per cent to end at 11,633.30.

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First Published: Feb 27 2020 | 8:08 PM IST

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