The rupee dropped by 5 paise to close at 71.36 against the US dollar on the last trading session of 2019 on Tuesday, leading to a total loss of 159 paise or 2.28 per cent in the year amid trade war concerns, a rebound in crude oil prices and higher import bill. The had closed the 2018 year at 69.77 to the US dollar.
“Rupee registering more than 2.20 per cent weakness this year in 2019 along with about 10 per cent weakness registered in the year 2018 largely on back of higher import bills on back of rising gold & recently crude prices,” said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst (Commodity & Currency) at LKP Securities.
The rupee opened higher at 71.28 per dollar at the interbank foreign exchange market and hovered in a range of 71.23 and 71.37 before ending at 71.36 per dollar, showing a loss of 5 paise over its previous close. Traders further said during the year steady foreign fund inflows and significant gains in domestic equities supported the rupee while rising crude oil prices weighed on the local unit.
“FPIs have invested USD 14.4 billion in Indian equities this calendar year which has led to double digit returns in Nifty-50,” said Rusmik Oza, Senior VP and Head of Fundamental Research, Kotak Securities. On the domestic market front, on an annual basis, the Sensex rose 5,185.41 points or 14.37 per cent.
Investors became richer by over Rs 11 lakh crore in 2019 helped by a stupendous rally in the stock market where the benchmark Sensex clocked over 14 per cent gains on an annual basis. Market participants, however said that rising crude prices weighed on the local currency. Brent futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.33 per cent to USD 66.89 per barrel.
The international benchmark, has witnesed significant uptick as compared to 2018-end level USD 54.42 per barrel. Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.28 per cent to 96.47. The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.56 per cent on Tuesday.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 71.3449 and for rupee/euro at 79.8830. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 93.5536 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 65.37.