The rupee gains 20 paise to close at 76.42 against the US dollar

The rupee appreciated 20 paises against the US dollar to 76.42 (prelim) on Thursday, supported by positive domestic stocks and trends in state election results.

On the interbank FX market, the local unit opened at 76.27 against the greenback, seeing a daily high of 76.07 and a low of 76.46.

The rupee finally closed at 76.42, up 20 paise from its previous close.

On Wednesday, the rupee was up 38 paise to close at 76.62 against the US dollar after crude oil prices fell and domestic stocks rallied.

The vote count was underway on Thursday in five states that recently held general elections — Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.

The BJP is heading for a second consecutive victory in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh and dominating the trend charts in three other states, while the Aam Aadmi Party is preparing for a landslide victory in Punjab.

The rupee appreciated as risk appetite recovered while haven currencies tumbled, said Dilip Parmar, research analyst at HDFC Securities.

Geopolitical risks have also started to reverse course and commodities cooled and EM currencies and equities rallied.

In the near term, the rupee is likely to consolidate in the 76-76.70 range, Mr Parmar added.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the dollar’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.13% to 98.09.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, surged 4.76% to $116.43 a barrel.

On the domestic stock market front, the BSE Sensex closed up 817.06 points, or 1.50%, to 55,464.39, while the broader NSE Nifty was up 249.55 points, or 1.53%, to 16,594.90.

Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday, selling ₹4,818.71 crore of shares, according to stock market data.

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