Rupee gains 10 paise at 69.07 against US dollar in opening trade

The rupee opened 10 paise higher at 69.07 against the US dollar on Monday. The domestic unit halted its three-day winning streak as it closed 25 paise lower at 69.17 as forex traders weighed rising crude oil prices.

Besides, as forex dealers said, there was concern in the market after reports surfaced that the Supreme Court Friday restrained Arcelor Mittal from acquiring Essar Steel, which in turn might impact dollar inflows considering the Essar Steel acquisition was worth nearly USD 7 billion.

Rupee continued to consolidate in a narrow range ahead of the important inflation and industrial production number that was released on Friday. Inflation in March rose to the highest level in five months following rise in food prices. On the other hand core inflation rose at a slower pace of 4.97 per cent in March compared to 5.36 per cent in the previous month. 

Industrial production in February rose a mere 0.1 per cent compared to growth of 1.7 per cent in the previous month. Slowing IIP growth adds to signs of weakness in the economy. This week, market participants will be keeping an eye on RBI policy minutes to gauge a view for the currency. 

"Today, USD/INR pair is expected to quote in the range of 69.05 and 69.80," says Gaurang Somaiya, Research Analyst(Currency) at Motilal Oswal Financial Services (MOFSL). 

On the global front, Asian shares neared nine-month highs on Monday after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hoped US-China trade talks were approaching a final lap, while strong Chinese export and bank loan data boosted confidence in the global economy.

In the currency market, the dollar index was 0.1 per cent weaker at 96.863 against a basket of major currencies as demand for safe haven assets eased.

In the commodities market, oil prices edged lower after international benchmark Brent hit a fresh five-month high in the previous session, but concerns over global supplies provided a floor to losses.

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