Rupee opens flat at 70.42 against US dollar

The rupee opened flat at 70.42 against the US dollar on Friday amid positive Asian equities and fall in crude oil prices. 

On Thursday, the domestic currency ended 5 paise higher at 70.41 on increased selling of the greenback by exporters amid easing crude oil prices.

Rupee consolidated in a narrow range for the third successive session despite volatility in global crude oil prices and weakness in the dollar against its major crosses. In the last couple of weeks crude has rallied over 20 per cent which led to marginal weakness in the rupee but broad weakness in the dollar has capped sharp depreciation of the rupee. 

On the domestic front, market participants will now be keeping an eye on inflation number and lower-than-expected number could restrict any major fall in the currency. Today, USD/INR pair is expected to quote in the range of 70.30 and 71.00, said Gaurang Somaiya Research Analyst(Currency) at Motilal Oswal Financial Services. 

On Thursday, overseas investors (FIIs) were the net sellers to the tune of Rs 344.58 crore in the capital market while domestic investors (DIIs) were the buyers to tune of Rs 10.98 crore. 

"Overall the rupee is expected to be driven by global factors and the upcoming political factors in the domestic market. Near term the rupee is expected to trade in 69.50 to 72 band," said Rushabh Maru, Research Analyst Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers.

On the global front, Asian stocks inched higher to one-month highs on Friday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the US central bank can be patient on raising interest rates further. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged 0.2 per cent higher, while Japan's benchmark Nikkei advanced 1.1 per cent in early trade, Reuters reported. 

Oil slipped concerns over the outlook for the global economy. International Brent crude futures were at $61.55 per barrel at 09:03 am, down 13 cents, or 0.2 per cent, from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 7 cents, or 0.1 per cent, to $52.52 per barrel, said a Reuters report.  

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