Rupee at 2-week high, gains 53 paise at Rs 71.84 in early trade on increased selling of dollars by exporters, banks

Mumbai: The rupee continued its upward march on Thursday opening by another 53 paise to trade at over a two-week high of 71.84 against the US dollar in early trade Friday at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on increased selling of the American currency by exporters and banks.

Besides, the dollar's weakness against some currencies overseas on easing trade war concerns and a higher opening of the domestic equity market supported the rupee, forex dealers said.

On Wednesday, the rupee had gained 61 paise, notching up its best single-day gain since March 2017 to close at 72.37 against the US currency supported by heavy dollar selling by banks and weakness in the greenback in global markets.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex recovered by 231.40 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 37,352.62 in morning trade.

However, according to a Dun & Bradstreet economy forecast, the rupee is expected to remain under pressure in near-term as the downside risks to the currency are largely driven by the external factors and will take some time to subside.

According to its latest economy forecast, elevated crude oil prices, strengthening of dollar, geopolitical tensions and economic sanctions will continue to impart depreciation pressures on the rupee.

 Rupee at 2-week high, gains 53 paise at Rs 71.84 in early trade on increased selling of dollars by exporters, banks

Rupee and US dollar Representational image. Reuters.

"Elevated risks and heightened geopolitical uncertainty, trade wars and economic sanctions along with reworking of trade treaties will continue to impact emerging market currencies, including India," Dun & Bradstreet India Lead Economist Arun Singh said in a research note.

At this time of global uncertainty along with tightening dollar liquidity in the global market, measures to attract foreign investors to support the rupee might have limited impact, at least, in the short-term.

The rupee has logged year-to-date losses of more than 13 percent against the strengthening US dollar after trade concerns and firming up crude oil prices. It has dropped close to 6 percent since August.

The rupee Wednesday rebounded by 61 paise to close at 72.37 against the US currency.

On the government's recent initiatives to support rupee, the report said the measures were "initial" and more is expected.

Singh further noted that "if the government undertakes measures like curbing non-essential imports it will be favourable for the domestic industry and the current account balance but at the same time it might send out protectionist signals".

D&B expects the rupee to be around 72.3 - 72.5 per dollar during September.

"The fact that rupee remains undervalued as per the 6-currency trade based REER (real effective exchange rate) index and there are adequate forex reserves to support rupee, the current level might not be the new normal for rupee," Singh added.

-- With PTI inputs

Updated Date: Sep 21, 2018 09:53:33 IST