INDIA RUPEE Indian rupee to strengthen as weak US data pushes dollar to 2-month low

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by Reuters

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INDIA RUPEE Indian rupee to strengthen as weak US data pushes dollar to 2-month low

MUMBAI, April 5 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee is expected to rise against the U.S. currency on Wednesday as weak manufacturing and job openings data dented demand for the dollar.

The non-deliverable forwards indicate the rupee will open at around 82.08-82.12 to the U.S. dollar, compared with 82.3325 on Monday. India's financial markets were shut on Tuesday.

The USD/INR pair has repeatedly found support ahead of the 82 levels, and "today it could be the same story," a trader at a Mumbai-based bank said.

The dollar index overnight dropped to its lowest level since Feb. 2. The 2-year U.S. yield fell to about 3.85% as investors bet the U.S. Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its rate hiking cycle following the weak jobs and manufacturing data prints.

Data overnight showed U.S. job openings dropped to their lowest level in nearly two years in February, indicating that the Fed rate hikes were cooling off the U.S. labour market.

"This long-awaited decline in job openings came prior to the emergence of financial stability concerns, which originated with the U.S. regional bank liquidity stresses in early March," Morgan Stanley pointed out in a note.

The job openings release comes on the back of data that showed that U.S. manufacturing activity slumped in March to the lowest level in nearly three years.

The focus now shifts to the U.S. monthly non-farm payrolls data due this Friday, which some analysts said gathers more significance in light of the decline in job openings.

Meanwhile, oil prices were up on the day, supported by the OPEC+ planned production cuts.

The "increased uncertainty" on oil will make it "more difficult" for rupee to climb above 82 levels, the trader said.


** One-month non-deliverable rupee forward at 82.25; onshore one-month forward premium at 15 paise

** As per NSDL data, foreign investors bought a net $287.8mln worth of Indian shares on March 31

** NSDL data shows foreign investors bought a net $5.7mln worth of Indian bonds on March 31

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