* Rupee ends at 54.275/285 per dlr vs 54.36/37 on Wednesday
* Dealers cite inflows related to SAIL share sale on Friday
* Debt limit sale for foreigners well subscribed
By Subhadip Sircar
MUMBAI, March 21 The Indian rupee rose for a
second day on Thursday, largely helped by inflows related to a
share sale and debt limit auction to foreigners, but the gains
lacked conviction on continued political uncertainty.
The impasse in New Delhi was reflected in the continued
weakness in shares, which fell for a fifth session to their
lowest close in nearly four months, continuing to be a drag on
Dealers expect the rupee to remain under pressure as the
political impasse over a key ally of the government pulling out
is yet to be resolved, putting a question mark over the fate of
However, the rupee was helped by rumoured inflows related to
the government's share sale in Steel Authority of India, due
Friday, which is set to garner about $290 million.
Inflows related to a successful sale of debt limits to
foreigners also helped the rupee, dealers said.
India's auction of quotas allowing foreign investors to buy
bonds attracted strong demand on Wednesday, easing some of the
concerns about whether a recent sell-off in markets would reduce
demand for domestic debt.
"Stocks have been jittery and edgy. The rupee has not
fallen because of the inflows. Once the flows dry out, the
undertone will be weak," said Param Sarma, chief executive at
He expects the rupee to further weaken to 54.80 in April.
The partially convertible rupee closed at
54.2750/2850 per dollar versus 54.36/37 on Wednesday. It traded
in a 54.1850-54.3350 band in the session.
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the
one-month contract was at 54.73 while the three-month was at
In the currency futures market, the most-traded
near-month dollar/rupee contracts on the National Stock
Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange closed at
around 54.34 with a total traded volume of $5.4 billion.
(Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)