Rupee hits new low
The rupee slipped to a record low of 76.88 against the dollar on Wednesday before pulling back even as stocks moved higher after a volatile start, driven by a 10 per cent surge in Reliance Industries Ltd following the Facebook deal.
The rupee opened weak at 76.86 at the interbank forex market and then fell further to an all-time low of 76.88 during the day. Later, the currency recovered in line with the surging stock markets and finally settled at 76.68, higher by 15 paise over its last close of 76.83 against the dollar.
“The gloominess regarding the deep economic downturn may weigh on the rupee. If coronavirus cases continue to increase on the global and local front, we can expect dollar spot to breach 77.50 and then 78 level,” said Rahul Gupta, head of research-currency at Emkay Global Financial Services.
Meanwhile, market benchmark Sensex jumped 743 points on Wednesday, propelled by index heavyweight RIL after Facebook announced it will pick up a 10 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for $5.7 billion.
The 30-share BSE index ended 742.84 points, or 2.42 per cent, higher at 31379.55. The wider NSE Nifty surged 205.85 points, or 2.29 per cent, to finish at 9187.30.
RIL was the top performer in the Sensex pack, rallying 10.30 per cent and contributing over half of the index’s gains.
Positive cues from the global markets and Brent crude oil dropping to over two decade-lows also worked in favour of the bourses here, traders said.
International benchmark Brent crude, which fell 24 per cent in the previous session, touched $15.98 a barrel on Wednesday, hitting its lowest since June 1999. However, it later recovered to $20.87 a barrel, up $1.54, or 8 per cent at 1:20pm EDT (10:50pm in India)
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for June delivery rose $3.09, or 26.7 per cent, to $14.66 a barrel.
Crude oil rebounded from two days of losses, bolstered by tentative discussions of additional supply cuts from Opec producers and US inventory builds that were less dire than some anticipated.
Oil trading has been more volatile than ever in recent days, as the market has become overwhelmed by a growing supply glut and catastrophic declines in demand as governments order people to stay at home, restricting travel and halting daily life, to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Since the start of the year, Brent has fallen more than 65 per cent, while WTI has dropped around 75 per cent.