* Rupee ends at 53.665/6750 per dlr vs 53.81/82 on Tuesday
* RBI eases FX rules for exporters
* Fin Min pledges more reform push in budget session
By Subhadip Sircar
MUMBAI, Jan 23 The Indian rupee swayed in
two-way trade on Wednesday before settling higher, helped by
gains in euro and foreign fund related selling, with the
currency drawing comfort from the central bank's move to ease
exporters' access to forex market.
Foreign fund inflows continued to pour into India's equity
markets in January, totalling nearly $3 billion at last count,
with the country's shares hovering at two-year highs.
The rupee has been a direct beneficiary of the inflows,
becoming the second biggest gainer so far in 2013 among Asian
currencies tracked by Reuters after the Thai baht.
The fact that the central bank has largely stayed away from
the currency markets, unlike in other Asian markets that have
seen intervention in recent days, has also assured investors
about the Reserve Bank of India's comfort with the currency
Late Tuesday, the central bank allowed exporters to access
the foreign exchange market without having to first exhaust
funds in their foreign currency accounts, reversing a previous
restriction imposed when the rupee was plummeting to life lows.
"What it means is the RBI's comfort on rupee. RBI's comfort
will extend to market stake holders; analysts who were looking
for run-away weakens in rupee into 58-60 need to get to the
drawing board for review," said Moses Harding, head of
asset-liability management at IndusInd Bank.
The partially convertible rupee closed at
53.665/6750 per dollar, stronger than its 53.81/82 close on
Tuesday and snapping two sessions of losses. It traded in a
53.58-53.88 band in the session.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who is meeting foreign
investors in Singapore, has reiterated his commitment to push
through further reforms in the budget session, Bank of America
Merrill Lynch, which hosts the meeting, said in a note.
The euro continued to remain supported after a
stronger-than-expected German economic sentiment survey on
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the
one-month contract was at 53.89, 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 all closed at around 53.62
with a total traded volume of $5.1 billion.
(Editing by Jijo Jacob)