Rupee at four month low, falls 24 paise against US dollar

The rupee closed at 65.18 a dollar—a level last seen on 16 November 2017, down 0.36% from its Friday’s close of 64.94.

business Updated: Mar 19, 2018 18:21 IST
Ravindra N. Sonavane
Ravindra N. Sonavane
Livemint, Mumbai
Rupee,US dollar,rupee vs dollar
On Friday, the rupee had ended 1 paisa lower at 64.94 against the US dollar.(Reuters File)

The Indian rupee on Monday weakened to a four-month low against the US dollar after the country’s current account deficit widened sharply, driven by higher imports. Moreover, losses in local markets for fifth consecutive sessions also dampened sentiments.

The home currency closed at 65.18 a dollar -- a level last seen on 16 November 2017, down 0.36% from its Friday’s close of 64.94. The rupee opened at 65.04 a dollar and touched a low of 65.18.

The current account deficit for the December quarter widened to 2% of the gross domestic product, or $13.5 billion, up from 1.4%, or $8 billion, in the corresponding period a year ago, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed on Friday.

The benchmark Sensex index fell 0.76%, or 252.88 points, to 32,923.12. So far this year, it has declined 3.5%.

Traders are now looking forward to Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting for guidance on the US Federal Reserve’s rate hike path.

The 10-year bond yield closed at 7.607% compared to its previous close of 7.557%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

So far this year, the rupee has fallen 1.8%, while foreign investors have bought $1.35 billion in equity and sold $317.10 million in debt market.

Asian currencies were trading lower. South Korean won was down 0.45%, Taiwan dollar 0.21%, Malaysian ringgit 0.19%, Philippines peso 0.16%, Indonesian rupiah 0.09% and China offshore fell 0.07%. However, Japanese yen was up 0.19% and Thai baht 0.1%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 90.278, up 0.05% from its previous close of 90.233

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 10:45 IST