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Rupee breaches 56, recovers

Reuters/Mumbai 04 Aug 12 | 12:53 AM

A late recovery helped the rupee gain on Friday, as demand for global risk assets recovered after the euro extended gains on the back of falling yields for Italian and Spanish debt. However, the currency still posted its third straight weekly decline as concerns about the global economy continue to weigh.

The partially convertible rupee closed at 55.75/76 per dollar according to the SBI closing rate versus its previous close of 55.84/85 after rising to as high as 56.19 in morning trade.

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The rupee still fell 0.8 per cent for the week. This was so as initial hopes for global monetary stimulus action were later dashed by the lack of concrete steps from either the Fed or the ECB. In India, the summer drought declared on Thursday is raising worries about food price inflation.

It is exacerbating fears the government will delay meaningful fiscal reforms that are seen as key to the outlook for the rupee. Investors will now focus on the US non-farm payroll data later in the day, which could set expectations for the week ahead.

“There were no flows as such in the market today, but rupee gained in late trade on the back of a rise in the euro and a recovery in local shares," said Hariprasad, head of treasury at the forex arm of Centrum Capital. “Lack of clarity in the Euro zone is actually playing on the rupee, otherwise rupee should have been closer to 55.25 or even below 55. I expect the rupee to open around 55.65 levels next week and see the rupee appreciating towards 55.50-55.00 levels," he added.

Still, the positive end to the week came as the euro rose on Friday, regaining some ground after two days of losses as some market players took a more optimistic view of the ECB’s strong signal on sovereign bond buying.

The absence of dollar demand from oil refiners, the largest buyers of dollars in the domestic currency market, at the start of a fresh month also helped support the rupee.

Traders are looking ahead to the start of the monsoon session of parliament on Wednesday, amid muted hopes it would spark deliberations about policy reforms.

The one-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were at 56.09 while the three-month was at 56.76.

In the currency futures market, the most-traded near-month dollar/rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange all closed at around 56.09 with the total traded volume at around $3.5 billion.

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