Markets

Rupee closes 4 paise down at 64.44 ahead of Fed call

The rupee pared its early steep losses to end marginally down by 4 paise at 64.44 against the American currency ahead of the US Fed's decision on rate hike.

Stray dollar demand from importers and local banks along side consistent unwinding by foreign investors weighed on the rupee trade.

Expectations of a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve and surging crude oil prices kept forex market nervous even as the US dollar slipped from one-month highs against its major rivals in Asian trade, dealers said.

The rupee opened lower at 64.52 as compared to 64.40 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market reacting to overnight sluggish macro numbers.

It weakened further due to intense dollar pressure and touched a fresh intra-day low of 64.56 in mid-mornings deals.

The home unit managed to pull back towards the fag-end trade and settled the day at 64.44, showing a small loss of 4 paise, or 0.06 per cent.

The RBI, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 64.4525 and for the euro at 75.7768.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against a basket of six major currencies, was up at 94.00 in early trade.

In cross-currency trades, the rupee fell back against the pound sterling to close at 86.10 from 85.91 per pound and also moved down against the Japanese yen to finish at 56.87 per 100 yens from 56.78 earlier.

It, however firmed up further against the euro to end at 75.66 from 75.81 yesterday.

In forward market today, premium for dollar recovered on mild paying pressure from corporates.

The benchmark six-month premium payable in May edged higher to 129-131 paise from 128.50-130.50 paise and the far forward October 2018 contract also moved to 268-270 paise from 266.50-268.50 previously.

Brent crude was trading at USD 63.84 a barrel in Asian trade after revisiting a fresh 2-year high of USD 65-mark on Tuesday.

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