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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Rupee weakens past 72 mark to hit fresh eight month low

The currency opened at 71.95 to a dollar and touched a low of 72 -- a level last seen on 14 December 2018. At 9:11 am, the domestic currency was trading at 71.97, down 0.19% from its previous close of 71.82.

business Updated: Aug 23, 2019 11:57 IST
Ravindra N. Sonavane
Ravindra N. Sonavane
Livemint, Mumbai
The Indian rupee weakened past the 72-per-dollar mark to hit a fresh eight-month low
The Indian rupee weakened past the 72-per-dollar mark to hit a fresh eight-month low(REUTERS)
         

The Indian rupee weakened past the 72-per-dollar mark to hit a fresh eight-month low as traders exercised caution ahead of the speech by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell which may provide clues on possible interest rate cuts.

The currency opened at 71.95 to a dollar and touched a low of 72 -- a level last seen on 14 December 2018. At 9:11 am, the domestic currency was trading at 71.97, down 0.19% from its previous close of 71.82.

The world’s central bankers are gathering at Jackson Hole for one of the most important meetings on monetary policy. The event started on Thursday and ends Saturday. The Federal Reserve chairman will speak on Friday and traders will look for guidance on whether the central bank might cut rates at its next meeting in September .

Most Asian currencies fell after several Federal Reserve officials voiced their opposition to lowering of interest rates before Jerome Powell’s speech at the annual meeting.

Three Fed policy makers were against the notion that the US economy needs lowering of interest rates, and a fourth member said he wanted to avoid taking further action “unless we have to”, foreshadowing a sharp debate with officials who want to cut rate again.

The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.577% compared with its previous close of 6.56%.

The benchmark equity index Sensex was down 0.6% at 36236.80 points. So far this year, the index has risen 1.12%.

In the year so far, foreign investors have bought nearly $8.07 billion in Indian equities and $3.44 billion in debt.

Asian currencies were trading lower. South Korean won was down 0.48%, China Offshore lost 0.14%, Japanese yen declined 0.13%, China renminbi fell 0.13%, Indonesian rupiah lost 0.08%, and Singapore dollar was down 0.07%. However, Thai Baht was up 0.05%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against a basket of major currencies, was at 98.296, up 0.13% from its previous close of 98.17.

(Bloomberg contributed this story)

First Published: Aug 23, 2019 10:29 IST