By Anushka Sharma and Nimesh Vora
MUMBAI, Nov 25 (Reuters) – The Indian rupee is likely to open little changed to the dollar on Friday on lack of recent volatility, while Asia offered little cues.
The rupee was at 81.63 per U.S. dollar in the previous session. After the increased volatility in the previous two weeks, the local unit this week held a narrow 81.60-81.90 range.
It may not “be too incorrect to surmise” from this week’s price action that rupee has a new narrower near-term trading range, a spot dealer at a foreign bank said.
Rupee has “resolved itself” around the middle of the recent highs and lows of 80.50 and 83.30, the dealer added.
The expectation is that the Reserve Bank of India will rebuild reserves if rupee rallies, while robust risk appetite and equity inflows will mean less volatility on the rupee, according to traders.
Major Asian currencies, the Chinese yuan and the Korean won, were little changed, while the dollar index was hovering just below 106. The dollar remains broadly on the defensive versus its major peers on increasing likelihood of the U.S. Federal Reserve shifting gears to smaller rate hikes from next month.
Futures indicate that U.S. rates will peak near 5% by May and are pricing in a roughly 75% chance that the Fed will now switch to a 50-basis-point hike in December.
The dollar index is down about 8% from year-to-date highs. The 2-year Treasury yield is off more than 40 bps from the highs.
Meanwhile, foreign investors have pumped in more $3 billion into Indian equities so far this month, supporting the rupee. India’s equity index, the BSE Sensex, reached a record high on Thursday.
KEY INDICATORS: ** One-month non-deliverable rupee forward at 81.82; onshore one-month forward premium at 14.5 paise ** USD/INR Nov futures settled on Thursday at 81.6875 ** USD/INR Nov forward premium at 0.5 paise ** Dollar index at 105.84 ** Brent crude futures at $85.5 per barrel ** Ten-year U.S. note yield at 3.68% ** SGX Nifty nearest-month futures down 0.2% at 18,629 ** As per NSDL data, foreign investors sold net of $220.3 mln Indian shares on Nov. 23
** NSDL data shows foreign investors bought net of $4 mln Indian bonds on Nov. 23 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)
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