Rupee hits 11-month high against US dollar

Mumbai: The Indian rupee, along with other Asian currencies, strengthened against US dollar on Thursday after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reinforced prospects of an interest rate cut later this month.

The rupee opened at 68.31 a dollar and touched a high of 68.30 — a level last seen on 2 August 2018. At 9.15 am, the currency was traded at 68.33 a dollar, up 0.36% from its previous close of 68.57.

Yield on the 10-year government bond was at 6.555% compared with Wednesday’s close of 6.544%.

In his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday Powell said the US economy faced risks from flagging business sentiment, a global slowdown in manufacturing, and an inflation rate that has remained persistently low. A report on US CPI, due later today, may further cement bets for an interest rate cut.

Back home, the benchmark Sensex Index was up 0.42% at 38720.44 points. So far this year, the index has risen 7.38%.

The rupee has risen 1.9% against the greenback in the year so far, while foreign investors bought $10.80 billion in Indian equities and $2.38 billion in the debt market during the period.

Other Asian currencies also traded higher. The South Korean won was up 0.85%, Japanese yen rose 0.5%, Indonesian rupiah 0.5%, Philippines peso 0.46%, Taiwan dollar 0.37%, Thai Baht 0.31%, Malaysian ringgit 0.27%, Singapore dollar 0.24%, China Offshore 0.11%, China Renminbi 0.11%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against a basket of major currencies, was at 96.906, down 0.2% from its previous close of 97.104.

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