MUMBAI The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sold a net $179 million in spot exchange markets in December compared with net buying of $15 million in November, while also intervening in the futures markets, it said in a monthly bulletin on Wednesday.
In spot markets, the RBI bought $2.6 billion but sold $2.8 billion in December, showing the central bank intervened both to curb the rupee's value and to cap its gains.
The RBI did not provide a breakdown of sales or purchases for currency futures in December, only saying that its actions had totalled $1.22 billion worth of trades.
Traders however said the central bank was likely more active selling dollar/rupee futures to prevent a sharp fall in the rupee.
The trading in futures was less than the $2.37 billion in November, according to the RBI table. The RBI started detailing its activity in currency futures last month.
The rupee moved in the 66.0850-67.1250 per dollar range in December when the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the first time in a decade.
The central bank's outstanding forward purchases stood at $1.99 billion as of December-end compared to $1.49 billion in November, the data showed.
(Reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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