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Rupee gains strength; jumps 23 paise against US dollar today as Sensex turns flat

Indian rupee gained strength on Wednesday jumping as much as 23 paise against the US dollar in the morning trades while the benchmark Sensex turned flat in the mid-morning trades after opening higher. The rupee advanced about 23 paise to 64.09 against the US dollar at the interbank foreign exchange market on Wednesday. The domestic currency opened around 15 paise at 64.17 apiece US dollar today. The rupee recovered by 8 paise to end at 64.32 against the dollar. The Reserve Bank of India had fixed a reference rate of 64.2838 against the US dollar on Monday. The US dollar dropped above a five-month low against the Japanese yen on Wednesday, its slide halted as a recovery in broader risk sentiment remained intact for the time being, Reuters said in a report.

Earlier this week on Monday evening, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a complete overhaul of the stressed asset resolution framework by immediately withdrawing existing schemes and asking lenders to resolve defaults within 180 days. Further, the central bank notified that starting 23 February, all banks will identify the defaults on a weekly basis and should make a disclosure every Friday to the RBI credit registry. The new guidelines have specified framework for early identification and reporting of stressed assets. “In view of the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016, it has been decided to substitute the existing guidelines with a harmonised and simplified generic framework for resolution of stressed assets,” the RBI said in a notification.

Recent swings in risk sentiment have been a key driver of currencies and investors now await US January inflation, with the indicator seen either upsetting the equity market’s fragile recovery or clearing the way for additional gains, Reuters added.

Indian stock markets erased major gains after opening higher on Wednesday as blue-chip stocks fell substantially in the morning trades with Sun Pharma, SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank losing up to 2%. In the meantime, shares of almost all of the PSU (public sector undertaking) slid into negative territory with the stock of SBI falling over 2% after the Reserve Bank of India provided an all-new new diktat to tackle the NPAs (non-performing assets). Shares of Punjab National Bank was one of the top losers among public sector banks after the state-run bank said it has detected fraud transactions worth $1.77 billion in one of the branches in Mumbai. The stock of Bank of India also tumbled in the morning trades facing the first third-quarter earnings reaction. Bank of India stock declined the most after the lender reported a net loss of Rs 2,341.23 crore in the October-December period of the financial year 2017-2018.

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