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Rupee settles on a steady note, logs over 9% drop in FY20

Gains in equities and lower crude oil prices, however, restricted the rupee from venturing into the negative territory.

PTI|
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2020, 10.41 PM IST
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Forex traders said market participants remained cautious as currency markets will remain shut for the next couple of sessions.

Mumbai, Mar 31 (PTI) The Indian rupee on Tuesday ended on a flat note at 75.60 against the US dollar but logged a massive 9.36 per cent or 646 paise loss during the 2019-20 fiscal, mostly due to weakened sentiment in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.

At close on Tuesday, the domestic currency was quoted mere 1 paisa lower at 75.60 to the American unit. During the session, the rupee traded between a high of 75.31 and a low of 75.66.

Gains in equities and lower crude oil prices, however, restricted the rupee from venturing into the negative territory.

Forex traders said market participants remained cautious as currency markets will remain shut for the next couple of sessions. Indian forex markets will remain shut on April 1 for the annual closing of banks and on April 2 on account of Ram Navami.

On a fiscal-year basis, the rupee has witnessed a sharp decline of 9.34 per cent in fiscal year 2019-20. The local unit has depreciated by 646 paise or 9.36 per cent in FY20. On March 29, 2019, the rupee was quoted at 69.14 to the dollar.

Of this, 424 piase or 5.94 per cent loss has come in January-March quarter for the rupee, as coronavirus outbreak rattled the financail markets globally.

"In current fiscal, rupee depreciated by 9.36 per cent. Year gone was highly volatile as we had seen multiple issues weighed on Asian currencies and rupee. We had seen US China trade war, weaker global growth then Coronavirus outbreak altogether weighed on rupee. Major central banks back to the easy money approach to boost the economy,” HDFC Securities Head PCG & Capital Markets Strategy V K Sharma said.

The near-term focus will be on the pace of new virus cases and how India will come out of this as it may miss the growth forecast, he said.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.55 per cent to 99.72.

The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.14 per cent.

Global crude oil benchmark Brent rose 3.21 per cent to USD 23.49 per barrel amid concerns over global growth.

"The rupee marked the biggest quarterly loss amid foreign fund outflows, weaker domestic economic data and Coronavirus outbreak. Foreigners have withdrawn more than USD 14.5 billion this quarter," HDFC Securities Head PCG & Capital Markets Strategy V K Sharma said.

"Going ahead, the trend in Asian currencies and foreign fund flows will decide the action in rupee. Spot USD/INR is having near-term support at 74.70 and resistance at 76.30," Sharma added.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE Sensex traded in the positive zone throughout the session, ending 1,028.17 points or 3.62 per cent higher at 29,468.49 on across-the-board buying. Similarly, the NSE Nifty rose 316.65 points, or 3.82 per cent, to close at 8,597.75.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold equity shares worth Rs 3,044.94 crore on Tuesday, according to provisional exchange data.

The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 75.3451 and for rupee/euro at 83.4588. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 93.3671 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 69.84.

The number of deaths around the world linked to the new coronavirus has touched nearly 38,000. In India, more than 1200 coronavirus cases have been reported so far.

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