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Rupee rises 84 paise against USD after govt announces welfare measures to fight COVID-19

MUMBAI: The Indian rupee appreciated further by 84 paise to 75.10 against the US dollar in intra-day trade on Thursday after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced various welfare measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Among various welfare measures, Sitharaman announced Rs 1.70 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan scheme to help the needy and said that 80 crore poor people will to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months.

Moreover, she said the government will front-load Rs 2,000 paid to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kishan Yojana to benefit 8.69 crore farmers.

Forex traders welcomed the government initiatives and said the measures showed that the government is willing to take hard steps to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rupee which opened on a positive note at 75.90, gained further momentum and touched a high of 75.10 against the US dollar, registering a rise of 84 paise over its previous closing.

On Tuesday, rupee had gained 26 paise to settled at 75.94 against the US dollar after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is working on an economic package to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Forex market was closed on Wednesday on account of Gudi Padwa.

The domestic stimulus measures announced by the government boosted investor sentiment. However, there are still concerns over the impact of coronavirus outbreak on the domestic as well as global economy.

The number of deaths around the world linked to the new coronavirus has crossed over 21,000. In India, more than 600 coronavirus cases have been reported so far.

Meanwhile, domestic bourses were trading with gains with benchmark indices Sensex trading 760.99 points higher at 29,296.77 and Nifty up by 226.50 points at 8,544.35.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold equity shares worth Rs 1,893.36 crore on Wednesday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 3.03 per cent to USD 26.56 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against the basket of six currencies was trading 0.36 per cent lower at 100.68.

The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.31 per cent in morning trade.


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