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Rupee Hits 11-month High of 58.45; RBI Intervention in Focus

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The rupee surged 0.6 per cent to 58.45 per dollar on Monday, its strongest in 11 months on expectations of continued robust foreign buying in domestic shares and debt after Narendra Modi-led BJP swept the elections.

The partially convertible rupee is trading at its highest since June 18, 2013 after closing at 58.80 per dollar on Friday. The rupee posted its best weekly gains in eight months last week as Mr Modi won an overwhelming majority in elections.

Strong buying by overseas investors has led to sharp gains in the rupee. Overseas investors, who have been the backbone of the current market rally, purchased equities worth Rs. 3,635 crore (net) in the cash market on Friday, their biggest one-day investment this year.

Foreign investors have poured more than $16 billion (over Rs. 1 lakh crore) into Indian stocks and bonds in the past six months since Mr Modi was announced as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

Fast-tracking of reforms will also attract long-term Foreign Direct Investment flows and push the rupee up, analysts say.

Pressured by the sharp rise in the rupee, the Reserve Bank has been buying dollars. The Reserve Bank of India was spotted buying dollars via state-run banks starting around 58.47, three traders told Reuters.

A strong rupee spells trouble for IT companies and other exports, which earn a majority of their revenues in dollars. IT stocks such as Infosys and TCS fell sharply today.

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