The USDINR pair made a flat opening at 74.43 levels and traded in the range of 74.43-74.69 with an upside bias. The pair finally closed at 74.56 levels. The Reserve Bank of India set the reference rate at 74.5788. The USDINR pair rose because a slump in domestic benchmark equity indices prompted some foreign banks to purchase US dollars, likely for foreign fund outflows from Indian equities. The US Federal Reserve is expected to lay the groundwork for a rate hike when it meets again in March and also provide cues on whether it will speed up the end of its bond-buying program to curb surging inflation.

Investors worldwide also remained concerned over monetary policy tightening by other major central banks, which weighed on sentiment for riskier assets, including the Indian rupee. Separately, concerns about a possible Russian attack on Ukraine weighed on sentiment. US President Joe Biden was reportedly considering sending thousands of US troops to North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies in Europe along with warships and aircraft.

Data showed that the Eurozone economic recovery continued to stutter in January as the omicron variant led to renewed containment measures that dented activity. IHS Market’s flash composite PMI dropped to 52.4 in January from 53.3 in December, the lowest since February. Oil prices rose on worries about supply disruption amid concerns about Russia-Ukraine discord and rising tensions in the Middle East, which could make an already tight market even tighter.

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