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Rupee ends lower on jump in US bond yields, RBI intervention caps losses

1 week ago 25

The Indian rupee ended weaker on Monday, weighed down by a rise in U.S. bond yields, but likely intervention by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) helped limit the currency's losses.

The rupee closed at 83.5050 against the U.S. dollar, down 0.1% from its close at 83.3725 in the previous session. The currency hovered in a tight band between 83.48-83.51 following a gap-down opening.

The RBI likely sold dollars near 83.50 levels to limit the rupee's losses, traders said.

Asian currencies declined between 0.1% to 0.7%, with the Indonesian rupiah dropping to a more than four-year low.

Stronger-than-expected U.S. labour market data boosted the dollar and U.S. bond yields, resulting in traders paring back expectations of rate cuts by the Federal Reserve in 2024.

Interest rate futures are now pricing in 36 basis points (bps) of rate cuts this year, down from about 50 bps before the jobs data was released.

The dollar index was up 0.2% at 105.3 and the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to 4.46% in Asia hours, adding to its 14 bps jump on Friday.

While the rupee was under pressure, benchmark Indian equity indices, the BSE Sensex and Nifty 50, touched record highs on the day before ending the session slightly in the red.

Traders expect equity-related flows to be a key driver for the rupee this week alongside U.S. consumer inflation data and the Fed's policy's decision, both due on Wednesday.

While the U.S. central bank is widely expected to keep rates unchanged, investors will focus on Chair Jerome Powell's commentary and any updates to the interest rate dot plot.

"The rupee is expected to remain volatile but within a range of 82.90 to 83.70," in the near-term, Amit Pabari, managing director at FX advisory firm CR Forex, said.

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