Rupee hits one-week low, down 7 paise at 64.15


The rupee today drifted further down by 7 paise to end at a fresh one-week low of 64.15 against the US dollar due to month-end demand for the American currency from importers and banks.

Sustained capital outflows and a sudden spike in crude oil prices globally too largely weighed on the forex market, though sluggish dollar overseas capped the losses.

Weak local equities also added to volatility.

This is the lowest closing for the home currency since December 18.

Most Asian currencies edged higher against the US dollar amid light trade across markets worldwide due to the year-end holiday period.

Crude prices surged to a fresh 2-1/2 year high boosted by news of an explosion on a Libyan crude pipeline as well as voluntary OPEC-led supply cuts.

Brent crude, an international benchmark, is trading at USD 66.08 a barrel in early Asian trade.

Meanwhile, domestic equities succumbed to modest profit- taking after hitting fresh record highs in early trade dragged by state-owned bank, auto and FMCG stocks amid some caution ahead of derivatives expiry tomorrow.

The benchmark sensex dropped 99 points to end at 33,911.81, while Nifty fell 41 points at 10,490.75.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the rupee opened a tad higher at 64.06 from overnight close of 64.08 tracking firm local equities.

But, it drifted gradually to hit an intra-day low of 64.18 in mid-morning deals on month-end dollar demand from importers and corporates.

After regaining some lost ground, the local unit finally settled at 64.15, revealing a loss of 7 paise, or 0.11 per cent.

The RBI, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 64.1577 and for the euro at 76.2258.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, was down at 92.58 in early trade.

In cross-currency trades, the rupee fell back against the pound sterling to settle at 86.06 from 85.59 per pound and dropped against the euro to finish at 76.27 from 75.95 earlier.

The home unit remained weak against the Japanese yen to end at 56.66 per 100 yens from 56.56.

Elsewhere, the common currency euro and British pound traded little changed against the US currency heading into the final week of 2017 with firm fundamentals supporting it.

In forward market today, premium for dollar displayed a steady trend in the absence of any market moving factors.

The benchmark six-month premium payable in May and the the far forward October 2018 contract was quoted at 116-118 paise and 250-252 paise, respectively.

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