Rupee ticks higher on inflows, importer dollar demand caps gain

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By Jaspreet Kalra

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Indian rupee rose slightly on Thursday aided by likely dollar inflows, even as most Asian currencies slipped amid a rise in U.S. bond yields.

The rupee was at 83.49 against the U.S. dollar as of 11:45 a.m. IST, against its close at 83.5175 in the previous session.

The dollar index was at 105.5 while most Asian currencies slipped, with the Korean won down 0.3%, leading losses. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose above 4.50% in Asia hours after rising slightly on Wednesday.

“It seems like there are some mild inflows but given sufficient (dollar) buying interest at these levels, don’t think we see a rise above 83.40,” a trader at a foreign bank said.

The rupee has mostly hovered between 83.40-83.50 this week as dollar demand from importers, including local oil companies, has kept up the pressure while expectation of central bank intervention has made traders wary of pushing the rupee towards its record low.

The currency had declined to an all-time low of 83.5750 on April 19.

“India’s economic fundamentals and substantial foreign exchange reserves serve as a safety net, empowering the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to counter downward pressure on the rupee,” Amit Pabari, managing director at FX advisory firm CR Forex said.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan Collins said on Wednesday that the recent strength in economic activity data and elevated inflation suggest “the likely need to keep policy at its current level until we have greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2%”.

Investors now await U.S. jobless claims data due later in the day for cues on strength in the labour market after data last week showed that employers added fewer jobs than expected in April.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Kalra; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)



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