On a weekly basis, the Indian Rupee fell 0.30%. The pair USDINR closes on Friday at 69.3550 against the previous weekly close of 69.15 on April 12th, 2019 to a greenback. It trades in a weekly range between 69.6950 to 69.03 against the greenback.
India's foreign exchange reserves rose to $414.9 billion, as of April 12, compared with $413.78 billion a week earlier, data released by the Reserve Bank of India on Friday showed. Changes in foreign currency assets, expressed in dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of other currencies held in its reserves.
Late Monday, data showed that India’s trade deficit widened to $10.9 billion last month from a one-and-a-half year low of $9.6 billion in February. The March trade deficit was wider than $9.7 billion forecast by economists polled by Bloomberg. In March of last year, the deficit was at $13.7 billion.
India's annual wholesale price inflation in March accelerated to 3.18 percent, its highest in three months, government data showed on Monday. Last month, the wholesale price inflation was in line with the forecast of 3.20 percent by economists in a poll, and higher than provisional 2.93 percent in February.
The dollar steadied against a basket of currencies on Friday after hitting a 2-1/2-week high overnight as data pointed to a sturdy U.S. economy. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, rose to as high as 97.485 overnight, its highest level since April 2. It last traded at 97.392 on Friday.
U.S. homebuilding dropped to a near two-year low in March. Housing starts fell 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.139 million units last month, the lowest level since May 2017. Data for February was revised down to show homebuilding tumbling to a pace of 1.142 million units instead of the previously reported 1.162 million-unit rate.
U.S. retail sales increased by the most in 1-1/2 years in March. The Commerce Department said retail sales surged 1.6 percent in March, the biggest increase since September 2017, after dropping 0.2 percent in February. Economists poll had forecast retail sales accelerating 0.9 percent last month.
The U.S. trade deficit fell to an eight-month low in February as imports from China plunged. The trade deficit tumbled 3.4 percent to $49.4 billion in February, the lowest level since June 2018. Economists poll had forecast the trade shortfall widening to $53.5 billion in February.
U.S. wholesale inventories increased less than expected in February as sales rose for a second straight month. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday wholesale inventories climbed 0.2 percent to a record $668.9 billion.
Euro zone inflation slowed in March and the core figure dipped, the European Union's statistics office said on Wednesday. Eurostat said prices in the 19-nation currency bloc rose 1.4 percent in March on the year, from a 1.5 percent increase a month earlier, confirming the previous reading.
The European Union's trade surplus in goods with the United States increased in the first two months of 2019 while its deficit with China widened. The European Union's surplus with the United States grew to 21.6 billion euros in Jan-Feb 2019 from 20.9 billion euros ($23.7 billion) in the same period of 2018. EU statistics office Eurostat reported on Wednesday.
China’s first quarter GDP, March industrial output and retail sales all came better than expected, official data showed on Wednesday. The National Bureau of Statistics reported that China’s economy expanded 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the expected 6.3%. Industrial production jumped 8.5% year-on-year in March, higher than the estimated 5.9%, to register the fastest growth since 2014.
U.S. manufacturing output was unchanged in March after two straight monthly declines. Manufacturing output last month was restrained by weak motor vehicle and wood products production after falling 0.3 percent in February. Economists poll had forecast manufacturing production edging up 0.1 percent in March.
British workers' pay grew at its joint fastest pace in over a decade as employers extended their hiring spree. Employment grew by 179,000 in the three months to February, in line with the poll forecast, helping to keep the unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, its lowest since early 1975, the Office for National Statistics said.
Activity in Germany's services sector rose to a seven-month high in April, a survey showed on Thursday. IHS Markit's flash composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) measuring activity in the services and manufacturing sectors that together account for more than two-thirds of the economy rebounded to 52.1.
Oil futures edged up on Thursday as a drop in crude exports from OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, and a draw in U.S. drilling rigs and oil inventories supported prices.
Brent crude futures settled at $71.97 a barrel, up 35 cents from their last close and near Wednesday's five-month high of $72.27. Brent saw a weekly gain of 0.6 percent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled at $64.00 a barrel, up 24.00 cents. U.S. futures gained just under 0.2 percent for the week.
U.S. stocks were higher at the close on Friday, as gains in the Industrials, Telecoms and Technology sectors led shares higher. At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.42% to hit a new 6-months high, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.16%, and the NASDAQ Composite index gained 0.02%.
The Indian stock market gave up recent record highs to close marginally lower on Thursday, pressured by financial stocks as sentiment took a hit a day after debt-laden Jet Airways suspended all operations after running out of funds.
The benchmark BSE index closed down 0.34 percent at 39,140.28, while the broader NSE index ended 0.29 percent lower at 11,752.8. But both indexes finished the week, truncated due to holidays, about 1-1.2 percent higher.
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