Rupee extends gains; rises to 72/$ for the first time since Sept 21

The rupee on Wednesday opened 51 paise higher at 72.16 against the US dollar. Minutes later, the currency appreciated further to 72 for the first time since September 21. The domestic currency on Tuesday recovered 22 paise to close at 72.67 against the greenback on easing crude oil prices and better-than-expected macroeconomic data.

Foreign institutional investors (FII) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 17.71 billion on November 11, 2018. FIIs have been net buyers of more than Rs 45.90 billion in November 2018. "We expect the US$/INR to meet supply pressure at higher levels. Utilise upsides in the pair to initiate short positions," said ICICI Securities in its daily currency note. 

Crude oil prices fell below the $70 per barrel mark, easing concerns over expanding current account deficit and inflation which have a bearing on rupee sentiment. Oil markets struggled to find their footing on Wednesday after plunging by 7 per cent the previous session, with surging supply and the spectre of faltering demand keeping investors on edge. 

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $55.54 per barrel at 0159 GMT, down 15 cents from their last settlement.

International benchmark Brent crude oil futures were up 4 cents at $65.51 per barrel, Reuters reported. 

Back home, the domestic equity market on a positive note with the S&P BSE Sensex trading around 150 points higher at 35,300 levels while NSE's Nifty50 index was trading above 10,600.

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