India’s Rupee Rises Most in Two Weeks as ECB Cuts Interest Rates

India’s rupee advanced by the most in two weeks after the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rates to unprecedented lows, spurring speculation the move will spur demand for emerging-market assets.

The ECB lowered the deposit rate to minus 0.1 percent yesterday and reduced the refinancing rate by 10 basis points to 0.15 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares rose to the highest level in more than seven months, while the S&P BSE Sensex Index of Indian stocks climbed to a record high today. Traders are watching for the outcome of U.S. jobs data later today, according to Andhra Bank.

“The ECB’s aggressive rate cut has spurred demand for high-yielding Asian assets,” said Vikas Babu, a Mumbai-based foreign-exchange trader at Andhra Bank.

India’s currency strengthened 0.3 percent to 59.1825 per dollar in Mumbai, trimming the week’s loss to 0.1 percent, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. It was the biggest advance since May 22.

The rupee pared gains of as much as 0.4 percent to 59.11 on speculation the Reserve Bank of India bought dollars as foreign inflows continue, said four Mumbai-based traders, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

The U.S. Labor Department may report that 215,000 workers were added to nonfarm payrolls in May, holding above 200,000 for a fourth month, according to the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey.

One-month implied volatility in the rupee, a gauge of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, advanced three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 7.2125 percent today, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The measure fell 17 basis points this week.

Three-month offshore non-deliverable forwards rose 0.5 percent today and 0.3 percent this week to 59.89 per dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Forwards are agreements to buy or sell assets at a set price and date. Non-deliverable contracts are settled in dollars.

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