The Indian rupee on Wednesday weakened against the US dollar in early trade. It opened 11 paise lower at 70.99 a dollar ahead of the signing of phase 1 trade agreement between US and China. At 10.30 AM, rupee is trading at 70.91 a dollar, down 0.07 per cent or 0.5 points against the previous day’s close of 70.87 a dollar. Earlier, on Tuesday, the rupee had ended flat at 70.87 against the US dollar, erasing morning gains. It may be noted that on the year-to-date (YTD) basis, the rupee has weakened 0.64 per cent.
"Weakness in rupee likely to continue, we expect the rupee to hit 72 per dollar soon," Asif Iqbal Research Head, Escorts Securities, told Financial Express Online. "We are positive on the dollar as compared to the rupee. The weakness in Indian currency is likely to continue. The surge in inflation and lower economic growth will keep the rupee under pressure," Asif Iqbal added.
The domestic benchmark indices opened lower on Wednesday, taking cues from their Asian peers, amid reports that the US would likely to keep in place tariffs on Chinese items until November’s presidential elections. S&P BSE Sensex was trading 200 points or 0.48 per cent lower at 41,753 points, while broader Nifty 50 index was ruling at 12,296 points, 67 points or 0.54 per cent lower.
According to a Reuters news report, oil prices slipped on Wednesday on concerns that the pending Phase 1 trade deal between the United States and China, the world’s biggest oil users, may not boost demand as the U.S. intends to keep tariffs on Chinese goods until a second phase. Brent crude was down 19 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at 64.30 dollar per barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 19 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at 58.04 dollar a barrel.