Rupee earns 39 paise at 68.50 per US dollar ahead of budget

Mumbai, July 4 () The Indian rupee on Thursday increased its gains by another 39 paise to 68.50 per US dollar, registering firmer emerging-market currencies, lower crude prices, even as participants anxiously expected the Union Budget It was announced on Friday.

In the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened at 68.86 per dollar and advanced to a maximum of 68.49 during the day. Finally it settled at 68.50, up to 39 paise against its previous close of 68.89.

Meanwhile, the 2019 Economic Survey emphasized the need to give a big boost to spending and reforms to accelerate a higher rate of expansion to double the size of the economy to USD 5 billion by 2024-25.

Forex traders said the budget will give more signals in the forex market.

The rupee profit was followed by stronger emerging market currencies. Lower crude oil prices and stronger national equity markets backed the rupee in Thursday's trading, said V K Sharma, Director of PCG and Capital Markets Strategy, HDFC Securities.

Meanwhile, the 10-year public debt yield was 6.75 percent on Thursday.

India's 10-year sovereign bonds are trading higher, as a key government report said federal and state governments are generally on the path to fiscal consolidation, Sharma said.

Crude oil futures, Brent, the world's benchmark for oil, fell 0.13 percent to USD 63.74 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors (FII) continued to be net sellers in the capital markets, taking out Rs 28.95 crore on Thursday, according to provisional data.

The dollar index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, fell 0.03 percent to 96.73.

In the stock market, the BSE Sensex of 30 shares was liquidated at 68.81 points, or 0.17 percent, highest at 39.908.06; while the broader Nifty NSE increased 30 points, or 0.25 percent, to 11,946.75. The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 68.8776 and for the rupee/euro at 77.7256. The reference rate for the British rupee/pound was set at 86.6076 and for the rupee/100 Japanese yen at 64.00. DRR MKJ