* USD/INR closes at 54.26/27 versus 55.8350/8450 Thursday
* INR gains after 4 weeks of losses, up 2.3 pct for week
* Parliament vote on retail FDI crucial to rupee's fortunes
By Subhadip Sircar
MUMBAI, Nov 30 The Indian rupee rose on
Friday for a third straight session, helped by capital inflows
on optimism that the government will be able to win a vote in
parliament and push through key reforms.
India's September quarter GDP was largely in-line, but the
data showed the economy was on track for its worst year in a
decade, raising hopes of some monetary easing from the central
bank as early as December.
Dealers, however, stayed focused on a crucial parliament
vote next week on allowing foreign entry in multi-brand retail.
The vote is non-binding on the government, but any loss will
seriously imperil its ability to undertake further reforms.
"The parliament vote will be the key. If the government
wins, the rupee may rise to 53.70 to the dollar," said Naveen
Raghuvanshi, associate vice-president at Development Credit
Bank. "If it loses, we may see a sharp fall to 56."
The partially convertible rupee ended higher at
54.26/27 against its last close of 54.8350/8450 per dollar.
The rupee snapped four weeks of losses to gain 2.3 percent,
its biggest weekly gain since early July. It also clocked a
second month of gains, rising 0.9 percent.
Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.3 percent from a year
earlier in the July-September period, provisional government
data showed on Friday, below the 5.5 percent for
the quarter ending in June.
Analysts said the GDP print may not force the central bank
to rush into a rate cut in December, but many are looking at a
repo cut in the January review. Most expect some
liquidity-easing step like a cash reserve ratio cut in December.
"We suspect the release will further encourage the RBI to
cut the repo rate at its Jan. 29 meeting and we stick with the
view that we will get a 50 bp move then," Credit Suisse said in
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards market, the
one-month contract was at 54.57, while the three-month was at
In the currency futures market, the most-traded
near-term dollar/rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange,
the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange all closed at around
54.60 with a total traded volume at around $5.3 billion.
(Reporting by Subhadip Sircar; Editing by Sunil Nair)