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Rupee falls for third day as China virus fears spread


Date: 28-01-2020
Subject: Rupee falls for third day as China virus fears spread
Mumbai: The rupee weakened by 10 paise to close at 71.43 against the US currency on Monday, extending losses for a third straight session, amid fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak in China stoking fears about more trouble for the global economy.

The domestic currency has lost 24 paise in the last three trading sessions.

At the interbank foreign exchange market on Monday, the rupee opened on a weak note at 71.51. During the day, the local unit reclaimed some lost ground and finally settled for the day at 71.43 against the US dollarNSE 0.03 %, down 10 paise over its previous close.

China continued to reel under deadly coronavirus epidemic on Monday with the death toll due to it sharply rising to 80 amid the country's National Health Commission reporting 2,744 confirmed cases of the fatal affliction till date.

"Rupee expected to trade with negative bias following safe haven demand for dollar and central banks dollar buying as country's forex rose for the 17th straight week to hit an all-time high of USD 462.15 billion for the week ended January 17," said V K Sharma, Head PCG and Capital Markets Strategy, HDFC Securities.

Sharma further said that fresh cues for the rupee will depend on the Union Budget, scheduled on February 1, and dollar demand from central banks.

Moreover, high volatility is likely this week as two major central banks policy decision -- Bank of England (BoE) and US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) -- is scheduled.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.02 per cent to 97.87.

Meanwhile, the 10-year Indian government bond yield was at 6.56 per cent.

Forex dealers said the Indian rupee and bonds declined in line with other Asian peers after intensifying coronavirus spread from China to other countries.

However, from India's perspective it was a respite that benchmark Brent crude oil prices moderated to USD 59.04 per barrel, down 2.51 per cent.

The fall in crude prices was attributed to expected demand slump over rising Coronavirus cases in China.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE index settled 458.07 points, or 1.10 per cent, lower at 41,155.12. Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty closed 129.25 points, or 1.06 per cent, down at 12,119.

Financial markets across the world are increasingly turning volatile on concerns over the global economic impact of the virus, analysts said.

"The rupee weakened as the global markets witnessed sell-off on back of coronavirus getting spread widely in Central China. Foreign institutional investors pulled out money and rupee witnessed weakness," said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst (Commodity & Currency) at LKP Securities.

Foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 438.85 crore on a net basis on Monday, according to provisional exchange data.

The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 71.2404 and for rupee/euro at 78.6902. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 93.5097 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 65.04. PTI DRR

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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