The Indian rupee pared initial losses and closed 8 paise higher at 69.07 against the US currency on Thursday, supported by easing crude oil prices and weaker greenback. However, the rupee movement was confined to a narrow range as forex traders took a cautious approach ahead of the G20 Summit, which is taking place amidst ongoing US-China trade tiff and rising tensions in the Middle East, according to experts.
At the interbank foreign exchange (forex) market, the domestic currency opened at 69.29 a dollar and touched a low of 69.32 and a high of 69.07 during the day. The local unit finally closed at 69.07 against the American currency, up 8 paise over its previous close. On Wednesday, the rupee had settled at 69.15 against the US dollar.
"Easing of crude prices and gains in domestic equities markets during the Thursday's trade helped the rupee to appreciate to the highest level since June 4, 2019," said V K Sharma, Head PCG & Capital Markets Strategy, HDFC Securities.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.99 per cent to trade at USD 65.83 per barrel. Foreign investors bought shares worth Rs 106.26 crore on a net basis Wednesday, provisional data showed. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell marginally by 0.02 per cent to 96.19.
Meanwhile, domestic equity benchmarks ended marginally lower Thursday. After swinging over 300 points, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 5.67 points, or 0.01 per cent, lower at 39,586.41. The broader NSE Nifty slipped 6 points, or 0.05 per cent, to end at 11,841.55. Meanwhile, the 10-year government bond yield was at 6.90 per cent on Thursday.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 69.3192 and for rupee/euro at 78.7549. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 87.8357 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 64.55.
On the global front, the trade concerns between the US and China, and rising US-Iran tensions are poised to dominate a high-stakes G20 summit from Friday. A positive outcome from this meeting is expected to revive investor sentiment.