Indian rupee flat amid dollar demand from oil refiners
MUMBAI — The Indian rupee was little changed versus the U.S. currency on Thursday as demand for dollars from oil refiners countered positive cues from Asian peers.
The rupee was trading at 79.8250 per U.S. dollar by 0456 GMT, compared with 79.8075 in the previous session. The local unit traded in a three-paisa range, sticking to the pattern of the past few sessions.
“The bid for dollars remains strong from the oil marketing companies, while exporters too are jumping in to lock in (higher forward) rates,” Arnob Biswas, head of research at SMC Global Securities, said.
The technical picture for rupee “looks tired,” with the Reserve Bank of India possibly seeking to defend the 80 level on the one hand and strong dollar demand from importers on the other, Biswas said.
Meanwhile, other Asian currencies rose on Thursday and the dollar index dipped to 108.40. The slightly better risk appetite and the rebound on the Chinese yuan dampened demand for the safe-haven dollar.
The yuan recovered from 2-year lows amid signs that the Chinese central bank may be at unease at the pace at which the currency has depreciated.
Traders are waiting for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech in Jackson Hole on Friday. His speech comes as traders debate whether the U.S. central bank will raise rates by 50 basis points or 75 basis points next month.
Fed fund futures have moved to pricing in a higher chance of 75 basis points increase following hawkish comments from Fed policymakers.
Oil prices rose for the third day with Brent crude futures reaching $102.11 in Asia trading, the highest since Aug 3. India’s equity gauge, the BSE Sensex, advanced, tracking other Asian markets and U.S. equity futures. (Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)