Staging a big intraday recovery, the rupee rose to 69.89 against the US dollar in afternoon trade. At one point, the rupee had fallen to as much as 70.68 against the US dollar today. Some recovery in domestic equity markets aided the rupee’s rebound. Softening crude oil prices also boosted the rupee, which had closed at 70.39 against the US dollar on Wednesday. In recent trade, the rupee was trading at 70 against the US dollar.
Indian Stock Market:
Indian stock markets pared losses in afternoon trade with Sensex down about 80 points. At day’s low, the Sensex fell as much as 280 points. The broader markets were in the positive territory with the BSE midcap and smallcap indices trading in the green.
Also lifting sentiment was a decline in oil prices. International benchmark Brent crude futures were down nearly 2% at $56.20 per barrel, after climbing almost 2% the session before. Worries about oversupply and the outlook for the global economy have pushed oil prices down about 30% from October highs.
Tumbling oil prices have put rupee on course for its best quarter since March 2017. Many analysts expect the rupee to continue strengthening into the New Year after a largely painful 2018. Cheaper oil and a liquidity measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India have driven gains in Indian assets. The Sensex on Wednesday logged its seventh straight day of gains. “Domestic assets are likely to outperform, given lower crude,” forex advisory firm IFA Global said in a note.
US Federal Reserve:
Overnight, the US Federal Reserve raised rates, as expected, but it also signalled “some further gradual” rate hikes. It also stuck to the plan of cutting its massive bond portfolio. The dollar initially gained as the Fed was seen as more hawkish, but it lost steam against other safe-haven currencies, such as the yen.
The Bank Of England:
The Bank of England will announce its policy decision later in the day. Forex traders will also be watching for US personal income and spending and inflation data due on Friday. “The BoE is expected to leave the overnight rate unchanged at 0.75%, given the risks to the UK economy from Brexit uncertainty,” IFA Global said in a note.