Rupee opens 8 paise higher at 71.23 against US dollar

The rupee opened eight paise higher at 71.23 against the US dollar on Monday. 

The domestic unit appreciated by 14 paise Friday to close at 71.31 against on persistent foreign fund inflows even as the greenback strengthened overseas amid fresh concerns over global growth.

This is a big week for UK and European data, which could set the tone for forex market in the absence of any Brexit progress, said Gaurang Somaiya, Research Analyst (Currency) at Motilal Oswal Financial Services. UK preliminary Q4 GDP, business investment and industrial production are due today, inflation on Wednesday and retail sales Friday, while euro zone IP, GDP and employment data lead on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to data available with depositories, FPIs put in a net amount of Rs 5,273 crore in equities during February 1-8. However, they pulled out a net sum of Rs 2,795 crore from the debt market during the period under review.

On the global front, Asian shares started the week on the backfoot on Monday as worries about global growth, US politics and the ongoing Sino-US tariff war kept investors cautious, while the safe-haven greenback held near a six-week top against major currencies. The US dollar rose against most other currencies on Monday, holding near a six-week high, Reuters reported. 

Oil prices fell by more than 1 per cent on Monday as US drilling activity picked up and as a refinery fire in the US state of Illinois resulted in the shutdown of a large crude distillation unit.

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