Rupee pots weekly fall of 0.96%; closes at 54.81 Vs dollar

Rupee pots weekly fall of 0.96%; closes at 54.81 Vs dollar Mumbai: The Indian rupee reacted downwards by 52 paise to settle the truncated week at 54.81 against the Greenback following weakness in local equities amid capital outflows on concerns over the current political situation.

Fresh dollar demand from importers on the back of firm Dollar overseas also put pressure on the rupee.

The Forex market was closed on April 1 on account of annual accounts closing.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit resumed almost stable at USD 54.30 from last weekend's close of 54.29 and immediately touched a high of 54.2425 on Tuesday.

It later continued to trade weak on bearish local stocks and renewed foreign funds outflow, touching nearly a one-month low of 54.89 before settling at 54.81, a fall of 52 paise or 0.96 percent. Last week, it had gained four paise or 0.07 percent.

The Indian benchmark S&P BSE Sensex finished the week sharply lower by 385.54 points or 2.05 percent to a 4-month low while FIIs sold shares worth Rs 825.88 crore on the last four trading sessions during the week, including provisional data of April 5.

The dollar index shot up on Thursday against a basket of six major rivals as the Japanese yen dipped after the Bank of Japan lived up to expectations with a massive easing programme.

"Going ahead, if USD INR sustains above 54.60 levels for the next couple of days, then the pair should move towards 55.00-55.20 levels. The Sensex shed over 590 points in past three trading sessions. Political uncertainty, ETF funds, FII selling and ever-worsening economic data were the key triggers for the downfall. A sharp sell-off by FIIs can drag the market to lower levels ahead," said Abhishek Goenka, Founder and CEO, India Forex Advisors.

Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India) said, "Indian shares have lost over 3 per cent in the last three sessions, taking cues from the concerns that foreign investors would start selling after being net buyers of over USD 10 billion so far this year and about USD 25 billion last year."

"Also, the concerns over India's record current account deficit and political issues dented the investor's vision over Indian domestic markets. As a result, the rupee has fallen 0.96 percent this week, its second week of fall in three. We can expect USDINR to trade over 55 (spot) next week, the trading range for the same is expected to remain between 54.50 - 55.50," he added.

The rupee premium for the forward dollar ended better on fresh paying pressure from banks and corporates.

The rupee premium for the benchmark six-month forward dollar payable in September closed up at 192-194 paise from last weekend's level of 190-191-1/2 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in March also finished higher at 366-368 paise as against 359-361 paise.

The RBI fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 54.8803 and for euro at 70.9044 as against the last weekend's level of 54.3893 and 69.5438.

The rupee fell back sharply against the pound sterling to 83.43 from preceding weekend's level of 82.12 and also reacted downwards against the euro to end at 70.84 from previous weekend's close of 69.49.

However, it bounced back against the Japanese yen to settle at 57.00 per 100 yen from last weekend's level of 57.63.

PTI