The rupee strengthened sharply against the US dollar on Friday, registering its biggest single-day gain since September 30 as overseas investors purchased Indian assets, especially ahead of multiple initial public offerings (IPOs), dealers said.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) resumed purchases of Indian equities in November, following a hiatus of two months. Favourable economic data has improved the outlook on domestic assets, dealers said.
So far this month, FPIs have net bought $1.9 billion of Indian equities, NSDL data showed.
Data released earlier this month showed that India’s services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 55.1 in October, against the September reading of 54.3 — which was a six-month low. The October PMI print was above market expectations.
“The Indian rupee registered the biggest single-day gain after September 30 in view of strengthening regional currencies and risk-on sentiment supported by foreign fund inflows,” said HDFC Securities research analyst Dilip Parmar.
HDFC Bank’s executive vice-president of overseas treasury, Bhaskar Panda, expects the rupee in a band of 82.50-83.00 per dollar over the near term.
The domestic currency also benefited on Friday from a weaker US dollar index following the Bank of England’s decision to hike rates by 75 basis points – its most aggressive tightening move since 1989.
The US dollar index was 112.53 at 3.30 pm IST against 112.93 at the previous close.
Currency traders said that a stronger Chinese currency had also lifted the rupee in Friday’s trade.
“The Indian rupee was well bid today as IPO inflows and appreciation of Chinese currency from a low of 7.32 to a high of 7.24 ensured dollar selling,” said Anil Kumar Bhansali, head of treasury, Finrex Treasury Advisors.
“There was a good amount of oil buying (dollar purchases by oil importers) at 82.47 levels, taking the pair back to 82.62 from where a boutique of inflows took the pair down to 82.43,” he said.