NEW DELHI: The rupee gained versus the US dollar on Thursday as the greenback globally lost some ground after strengthening to an over 16-month high earlier this week. The domestic currency was also buoyed by anticipation of foreign inflows for investment in domestic companies, dealers said.
The partially convertible rupee opened at 74.1875 per dollar on Wednesday as against the previous close of 74.2700/$1. So far in the day, the local currency moved in a band of 74.1700-74.1925 to a dollar.
The dollar index, which had rushed past the psychologically-significant level of 96 earlier this week, was last at 95.73. The index, which gauges the greenback versus a basket of six major currency rivals, was at 95.12 at the end of previous week.
The dollar had risen to an over-one-year high in the last three trading days as a 31-month surge in US inflation led to speculation of the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy sooner rather than later, leading to fears of outflows from emerging market currencies such as the Indian rupee.
However, the rupee, this week has been relatively insulated because of consistent dollar sales by foreign and state-owned banks on behalf of overseas companies looking to invest in fund-raising plans of Indian firms, dealers said.
“Globally, the news was definitely not good; the dollar’s runaway strength poses a risk for all emerging market currencies,” a dealer with a private bank said on condition of anonymity.
“But as has been the theme of the last many months, the rupee has been the beneficiary of fund flows. We had Macrotech’s QIP earlier this week; there is Paytm now, so that trend of dollar selling has continued,” he said.
Government bonds were steady with yield on the 10-year benchmark 6.10 per cent 2031 bond last at 6.35 per cent, one basis point lower than the previous close. Bond prices and yields move inversely.
Bonds have been largely lackluster over the last 3 days as the current week is a truncated one with markets close on Friday for Guru Nanak Jayanti.
While a sharp rise in US Treasury yields earlier in the week had exerted some upward pressure on domestic bond yields, expectation of the Reserve Bank of India stepping in to prevent a runaway rise in yields kept gilts under check, dealers said.