Rupee ends flat at 68.46 against USD

Rupee ends flat at 68.46 against USD
Highlights

In a volatile trade, the rupee on February 18, ended almost flat at 68.46 against the US currency after touching a fresh 30-month low of 68.58 in intra-day trade. After two straight days of losses, the rupee today started on a higher note at 68.39 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange in early trade and strengthened to 68.32 during the day on fresh bout of dollar selling by exporters and banks.

In a volatile trade, the rupee on February 18, ended almost flat at 68.46 against the US currency after touching a fresh 30-month low of 68.58 in intra-day trade. After two straight days of losses, the rupee today started on a higher note at 68.39 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange in early trade and strengthened to 68.32 during the day on fresh bout of dollar selling by exporters and banks.

However, the home currency later turned highly volatile and surrendered all its early gains following renewed dollar demand from importers and some banks amid fresh capital outflows. It fell back further in mid-afternoon trade to hit a fresh intra-day low of 68.58 before rebounding smartly to settle the day at 68.46, showing a gain of one paisa. Suspected RBI intervention as well as dollar unwinding by speculative traders ahead of long weekend too largely supported the local currency, a forex dealer said.

The domestic currency market will remain shut tomorrow, February 19 on account of "Shiv-Jayanti". In worldwide trade, the US dollar softened against its major peers after the latest dovish Federal Reserve minutes indicated that the US central bank is concerned about global economic turmoil. Moreover, policy makers affirmed that future monetary decision would be dependent on incoming data amid concerns over worsening China's slowdown, which may potentially drag down the US economy, though labour market remained robust.

The dollar index, which tracks the world's reserve currency against a basket of its peers, is marginally up 0.04 per cent at 96.82. In the meantime, brent futures rallied to surpass USD 35 a barrel mark after Iran welcomed plans by Russia and Saudi Arabia to freeze output and also report showed a surprise drop in US inventories. The flagship stock market index Sensex surged by over 267.35 points to end at 23,649.22, while 50-share Nifty rose 83.30 points to finish at 7,191.75.

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