Financial Market Overview
7th March, 2019
- The Indian rupee remained at a two-month high against the dollar in afternoon trade, supported by greenback sales by banks for their corporate clients and foreign investors. However, greenback purchases by a state-run lender, most likely on behalf of importers, limited further gains.
- The rupee changed hands at 70.04 to a dollar, its highest since Jan. 8, and against 70.28 at previous close. It opened at 70.08 and rose above the key level of 70 for the first time in two months to 69.96 per dollar.
- Indian shares were trading little changed in afternoon trade though stronger rupee buoyed sentiment, while investors pinned their bets on hopes of a second term for the current government in the next elections.
- The broader NSE index was 0.15% lower at 11,037.60, while the benchmark BSE index was unchanged at 36,627.84.
- Asian markets finished mixed today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.14% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.65% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.79%.
- European markets are lower today. The DAX is down 0.37% while France’s CAC 40 is down 0.13% and London’s FTSE 100 is down 0.38%.
- The benchmark Brent crude oil contract was trading 0.2% higher at $66.13, as production cut from OPEC outweighed increasing supply from the U.S.
- The dollar index ended was trading flat at 96.85 after ending little changed yesterday. The index’s quiet performance came after U.S. private payrolls data released yesterday.
- Comments from New York Federal Reserve President John Williams further weighed on the greenback. Williams said the U.S. central bank can afford to be flexible in light of various uncertainties. Fed officials have repeatedly signalled over the last two months that muted inflation allowed them to be patient on rates amid a challenging growth outlook.
- Investors now await outcome of monetary policy decision by the European Central Bank later today. The authority is expected to cut the region’s growth forecast and provide signals for stimulus.