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Rupee ends tad lower; losses capped as geopolitical tensions ease

By Gaurav Pai
Last updated on: August 11, 2014 18:27 IST
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Rupee graphThe Indian rupee ended slightly lower on Monday as sentiment remained cautious on concerns foreign investors would pare some of their domestic equity or debt holdings, but easing global geopolitical tensions limited the fall.

Emerging market currencies however strengthened on Monday after recent sell-offs as markets saw a lowered risk of direct conflict between Russia and Ukraine while Middle East tensions appeared less acute.

Still, analysts said global events will continue to determine the outlook for the rupee.

Foreign investors have so far net sold almost $800 million in debt and a net $65.83 in shares, after their strong inflows had boosted the rupee and domestic shares earlier this year.

On the domestic front, investors will watch for India's July consumer price index, due on Tuesday, which is expected to rise marginally to 7.40 per cent from 7.31 per cent in June, as per a Reuters poll.

Further, factory output in June likely rose 5.4 per cent from a year earlier, faster than the 4.7 per cent growth in May, according to a poll of 27


"The dollar-rupee has become a play on global markets, and we may see a pause in the dollar's runaway gains," said Anindya Banerjee, a currency analyst at Kotak Securities, a brokerage in Mumbai.

The partially convertible rupee closed at 61.19/20 per dollar, compared to Friday's close of 61.14/15.

The unit had dropped to 61.74 last week, its lowest since March 5.

The 50-share NSE index rose 0.76 percent, snapping a three-day losing streak on the back of better-than-expected earnings and as some of the losses were seen as overdone.

Traders cited little impact from the Reserve Bank of India's board meeting in Delhi on Sunday. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was seen giving conditional support to Governor Raghuram Rajan's goal to bring down inflation, even as the government is putting emphasis on stronger economic growth.

In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the one-month contract was at 61.55 while the three-month contract was at 62.14.

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Gaurav Pai in Mumbai
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