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Rupee plunges to new low against dollar
August 31, 2018
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MUMBAI: High global crude oil prices, along with continuous outflow of foreign funds pulled the Indian rupee to a fresh low on Thursday. According to analysts, caution ahead of key macro-economic data, coupled with a rise in demand for US dollars also dragged the rupee lower.

“High crude oil prices and month-end demand for the US dollar have pulled the rupee lower,” Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers research analyst Rushabh Maru told IANS.

The Indian rupee was pegged at 70.73 after it touched 70.82 to a US dollar - the lowest ever mark - against the greenback.

It opened the day’s trade at the Inter-bank foreign exchange market at 70.58 to a US dollar and soon surpassed its record low of 70.65 to a greenback on Wednesday.

Against the UAE dirham, the rupee was trading at 19.27. Euro was traded at 82.72 on Thursday.

Apart from high crude oil, outflow of foreign funds from the Indian equity and bond markets has had an adverse impact on the rupee.

Investment-wise, data with exchanges on Wednesday had shown that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs1,415.87 crore, whereas domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs1,114.36 crore.

Besides, caution prevailed ahead of the release of India’s GDP and fiscal deficit data. The key macro-economic data points will be released on Friday.

STOCK INDICES DOWN

The key equity indices traded in the red on Thursday due to a weak rupee along with profit booking ahead of August futures and options expiry later in the day. The indices had, however, opened on a positive note, but could not hold on to the gains. According to analysts, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in banking stocks, followed by finance and FMCG counters.

The wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange closed at 11,676.80 points, lower by 15.10 points or 0.13 per cent from its previous close of 11,691.90 points.

The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 38,796.98 points, closed at 38,690.10 points, lower by 32.83 points or 0.08 per cent from its previous close of 38,722.93 points.  The top gainers on the Sensex were Tata Steel, Sun Pharma, ONGC, ITC and Bharti Airtel, while IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, Reliance Industries and Asian Paints were the major loser.

Stock exchange services provider NSE Indices included JSW Steel in its benchmark Nifty50 index.

According to the National Stock Exchange of India’s subsidiary, JSW Steel was included after the exclusion of pharma firm Lupin.

NSE said that Index Maintenance Sub-Committee (IMSC) decided to make the change following replacement of stocks in various indices as part of its periodic review.

Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that India to become fifth largest economy next year. India is on track to surpass Britain next year to become the fifth largest economy in the world and to emerge among the ‘big three’ global economies by 2040, Jaitley said in New Delhi on Thursday.

He said while India’s per capita income may still be modest, but the size of the economy was very large and growing at a fast pace.

Indo-Asian News Service

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