Rupee pares early gains to end only 14 paise higher after RBI rate cut
Mumbai: Erasing early gains, the rupee Tuesday ended at 53.77 against the US dollar, still 14 paise higher than its last close, after the Reserve Bank cut lending rate and cash reserve ratio (CRR) to perk up economic growth.
The 0.25 percent cut in CRR will release Rs 18,000 crore into the system, RBI said.
Forex dealers said fresh selling of the American currency by exporters also helped the rupee sentiment.
The local unit commenced lower at 53.96 against the dollar from yesterday's close of 53.91 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market.
After the RBI announced a cut in key policy rates, rupee bounced back to a high of 53.54 but soon lost the momentum and settled the day at 53.77, a rise of 14 paise, or 0.26 percent, from its last close.
"The rupee today initially gained after the RBI policy announcement but in a knee-jerk reaction to the central bank's comment on growth, failed to sustain it. It ended higher but fundamentals for the Indian currency continue to stay weak," said Moses Harding, Executive Vice-President (Forex) at IndusInd Bank.
He added that factors such as current account deficit and macro-economic dynamics continue to remain fragile, which has set the market into a consolidation mode and thus, rupee will move in a tight range of 53.35-54.10 in the near-term.
Foreign institutional investors pumped in nearly USD 167.35 million (Rs 899.83 crore) into the local stock markets today, according to the BSE provisional data.
The RBI cut its short-term lending rate called repo after a gap of nine months by 0.25 percent to 7.75 percent and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by similar margin to 4 percent, releasing Rs 18,000 crore primary liquidity into the system.
Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex today nosedived by 112 points to end below 20,000 level on profit selling at existing levels in rate-sensitive realty, auto and banking sectors.
"The rupee appreciated against the US dollar after the RBI announced a cut in the repo rate and the CRR. The rupee could not sustain the gains for long and going ahead, we do not expect much appreciation in rupee," said Abhishek Goenka, Founder and CEO, India Forex Advisors.
The premium for the forward dollar improved further on sustained from banks and corporates.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in June ended better at 157-159 paise from Monday's close of 156-158 paise.
Far-forward contracts maturing in December also rose to 317-1/2-319-1/2 paise from 315-1/2-317-1/2 paise.
The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 53.7015 and for euro at 72.2115.
The rupee continued to rule firm against the pound sterling to 84.58 from last close of 84.72 and also edged up against the Japanese yen to 59.48 per 100 yen from 59.49.
It, however, rebounded to 72.21 per euro from previous close of 72.48.