The rupee on Thursday appreciated by 11 paise to close at 71.45 against the US dollar after the Reserve Bank of India cut the repo rate and changed its policy stance to 'neutral'. Forex traders said the domestic currency gained strength after the Reserve Bank of India cut benchmark lending rate by 0.25 percentage point to 6.25 per cent. Moreover, easing crude prices and fresh foreign fund inflows also propped up the local unit. This is the third consecutive session of appreciation for the rupee, during which it has gained 35 paise. "Rupee appreciated after RBI's rate cut decision," HDFC Securities Head PCG & Capital Markets Strategy VK Sharma said.
Sharma further said that the rupee and 10-year gilt prices gained Thursday after the Reserve Bank of India cut the repo rate and changed its policy stance to 'neutral' from 'calibrated tightening'.
The RBI also announced the removal of a restriction on foreign portfolio investor from having an exposure of more than 20 per cent of its corporate bond portfolio to a single corporate. At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the rupee opened on a weak note at 71.73 a dollar. The local unit moved in a range of 71.76 to 71.30 during the session before finally ending at 71.45, a gain of 11 paise over its last close.
On Wednesday, the rupee had settled 1 paise higher at 71.56 against the US dollar. Rushabh Maru - Research Analyst, Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers, however, noted that the appreciation in the rupee is a temporary phenomenon.
Globally crude oil prices are rising gradually and is a matter of concern for the markets. Besides, trade tension and geopolitical matters also remain a cause of worry. "Hence we expect the rupee to trade in a 71-72 range in the near term with the currency continuing its depreciation bias," he said.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at USD 62.33 per barrel, lower by 0.57 per cent. Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 418.01 crore, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased shares worth Rs 294.11 crore Thursday, provisional data showed.
Benchmark equity indices gave up gains to end almost flat on Thursday as investors booked profits at higher levels after the Reserve Bank surprisingly reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points.
After rising nearly 200 points, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 4.14 points, or 0.01 per cent, lower at 36,971.09; while the broader Nifty settled 6.95 points or 0.06 per cent, higher at 11,069.40.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.21 per cent to 96.59. The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 71.4688 and for rupee/euro at 81.2024. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 92.4478 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 65.00.