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Foreign Fund Flow: Rupee to gain strength on likely return of FIIs

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 The expected return of foreign capital into India’s key indices will strengthen the Indian rupee further during the upcoming week.

Accordingly, the rupee is likely to touch the 74 to a USD mark during this period.

The FIIs have been on a selling spree in India’s equity market, however, the rate of off-load has significantly come down during the last few sessions.

On last Thursday, during the hour-long ‘Muhurat Trade Session’, FIIs sold just Rs 328.11 crore worth of stocks on the BSE, NSE and MSEI in the capital market segment.

“Rupee closed strong in this short trade week at 74.50 to a USD on back of lower crude and IPO inflows. Also on the back of IMF’s suggestion of lower interventions to India’s Central bank,” said Sajal Gupta, Head, Forex and Rates at Edelweiss Securities.

“The US yields also softened a bit after touching 1.70 levels paving way for a rally in risk assets. Rupee is expected to test 74 levels this week and the Nifty is likely to gain further strength.”

According to Devarsh Vakil, Deputy Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities: “This week rupee behaved exactly as expected and appreciated amid heavy FPI flows from ongoing IPOs. Better PMI numbers of manufacturing and service activities indicating economic conditions are improving.”

“We now expect the Rupee to consolidate its recent gains and also factor in the important announcement of tapering from the US FOMC this week. We continue to remain rupee bulls, and we expect it to appreciate towards the 73.5-mark over the course of the next few weeks.”

On the other hand, Gaurang Somaiya, Forex & Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services said: “Domestic factors continue to be in favour of the rupee as a number of IPOs are attracting fund flows and thereby supporting the currency. Inflation and industrial production too will be in focus on the domestic front.”

“Rise in inflation is likely to trigger volatility for the currency as well as 10-year yields. We expect the momentum for the rupee would continue to remain positive and it could quote in the range of 74.20 and 75.20.”

In addition, the currency desk of Emkay Global Financial Services: “This week was a short week with USDINR spot witnessing a downtrend on IPO subscriptions.”

“But we can brace for a heightened volatility next week after the FOMC, BOE monetary policy decisions, OPEC meeting and US NFP data.”

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Decline in equities continue for 4th straight sessions

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) and broader 50-scrip Nifty on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) extended their losses from the previous three consecutive sessions and declined on Friday.

At 10.25 a.m., Sensex traded at 58,593 points, down 0.9 per cent from the previous close of 59,464 points. It opened at 59,039 points.

Nifty traded at 17,599 points, down 0.9 per cent from the previous close of 17,757 points. It opened at 17,613 points.

Bajaj Finserv, Tech Mahindra, Coal India, Adani Ports, Bharti Airtel were some of the top losers, NSE data showed.

Top gainers during the early trade were Hindustan Unilever, Tata Consumers, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, and Power Grid Corporation.

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Consumer Price Index numbers for Agri, Rural labourers up by 5 points in Dec 2021

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The All-India Consumer Price Index Numbers for Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL) and Rural Labourers (CPI-RL) for the month of December 2021 increased by 5 points each to stand at 1097 and 1106 points respectively.

The major contribution towards the rise in general index of Agricultural Labourers and Rural Labourers came from Fuel & Light group and miscellaneous group to the extent of 1.72 & 1.58 points and 1.02 & 1.06 points respectively mainly due to rise in prices of firewood, kerosene oil, medicine, barber charges, bus fare, toilet soap, washing soap, etc., a release from the Ministry of Labour and Employment said on Thursday.

The rise/fall in the index varied from state to state. In case of Agricultural Labourers, it recorded an increase of 1 to 20 points in 11 states and a decrease of 1 to 12 points in eight states while it remained stationary for Odisha. Tamil Nadu with 1,290 points topped the index table whereas Himachal Pradesh with 861 points stood at the bottom.

In case of Rural Labourers, it recorded an increase of 1 to 20 points in 11 States and a decrease of 1 to 14 points in eight states while it remained stationary for Odisha. Tamil Nadu with 1,276 points topped the index table whereas Himachal Pradesh with 915 points stood at the bottom.

Amongst states, the maximum increase in the CPI-AL and CPI-RL was experienced by Tamil Nadu (20 points each), mainly due to rise in the prices of vegetables & fruits, onion, chillies green/dry, tamarind, etc.

On the contrary, the maximum decrease in the CPI-AL and CPI-RL was experienced by Himachal Pradesh (12 points and 14 points respectively), mainly due to fall in the prices of wheat atta, pulses, onion, vegetables, and fruits etc.

Point to point rate of inflation based on the CPI-AL and CPI-RL stood at 4.78 per cent & 5.03 per cent in December 2021, compared to 3.02 per cent & 3.38 per cent respectively in November 2021 and 3.25 per cent and 3.34 per cent respectively during the corresponding month of the previous year.

Similarly, Food inflation stood at 2.99 per cent & 3.17 per cent in December 2021, compared to 0.88 per cent & 1.07 per cent respectively in November 2021 and 2.97 per cent & 2.96 per cent respectively during the corresponding month of the previous year.

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Air India to commence normal ops to US from Friday

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Air-India

National carrier Air India will commence normal operations to US from Friday, the airline said.

On Tuesday, the national carrier said that it will not be able to operate a number of US-bound flights due to the deployment of 5G communications in the US.

As per industry insiders, the 5G network technology might cause certain crucial flight instruments to malfunction.

The airline informed passengers via its official Twitter handle: “#FlyAI : Flight operations to/from destinations in USA were affected during last two days.

“We would like to inform our passengers traveling to/from destinations in the USA that effective 0001hrs of 21st January 2022 normal flights operations will recommence to/from USA.”

Earlier in the day, Boeing had cleared AI to operate to the US on Boeing 777 aircraft.

Accordingly, the first Air India flight left from New Delhi to JFK airport on Thursday morning.

Besides, Air India is expected to operate other flights to Chicago and San Francisco.

“Arrangements to carry stranded passengers are being worked out,” the airline said.

The US air transport regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has been concerned that a version of 5G could interfere with some airplane instruments.

Earlier, aviation industry groups had shared those fears. This is despite reassurances from federal telecom regulators and well as wireless carriers.

Specifically, the FAA has been worried that 5G cellular antennas near some airports – not air mobile devices – could throw off readings from some aircraft equipment designed to tell pilots how far they are from the ground.

The systems, radar altimeters, are used throughout a flight and are considered critical.

At present, Air India operates to 5 destinations in the US.

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