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The Rupee closed steady after rising to its highest level in a week as dollar demand from importers and a mild uptick in the dollar index eroded gains driven by inflows. The dollar index touched a high of to 104.18 and was on course to notch a weekly gain of 0.1%. Most Asian currencies were rangebound and ended the week mixed. Inflows aided the rupee but they were not enough to push it above the resistance at 82.80, a foreign exchange trader at a private bank said. But market sentiment appears broadly in favour of further appreciation. The rupee also benefited from optimism sparked by data showing India's GDP growth in the October-December quarter far exceeded expectations, with the economy expanding by 8.4%, against the 6.6% anticipated. The yen slipped against the dollar on Friday after Bank of Japan governor Kazuo Ueda said it was too soon to declare victory on pulling inflation up to a desired level. Meanwhile, the dollar was little changed against other major currencies, bitcoin took a breather after surging last month, and China's yuan dipped after weak manufacturing data. Against the yen , the dollar was up 0.39% at 150.54, after rising 6.3% in the first two months of the year. The moves put the Japanese currency close to its weakest levels since November and not far off the lowest since 1990. In contrast to most world economies' recent battles with surging inflation, Japan is trying to boost price increases after years of anaemic demand. The euro was last up 0.1% at $1.0813, reacting little to figures which showed euro zone inflation slowed slightly less than expected to 2.6% in February, from 2.8% in January. The euro zone's currency has traded within a range of $1.07 to $1.11 since November as investors struggle to work out when the ECB and the Fed will start cutting rates. Oil prices rose on Friday and were set for weekly gains as markets awaited an OPEC+ decision on supply agreements for the second quarter while weighing fresh U.S., European and Chinese economic data. Brent futures for May were up $1.43, or 1.75%, at $83.34 a barrel by 1334 GMT. The April Brent futures contract expired on Feb. 29 at $83.62 a barrel.......


The US dollar weakened sharply against other major currencies after data showed that the US economy suffered a record contraction in Apr-Jun, while jobless claims rose in the week ended Saturday also rose.The US unit also extended its decline globally on Thursday after Trump raised the possibility of delaying presidential election in the US, scheduled for November.European Stocks ended lower on Thursday due to mounting concern over sluggish economic recovery and a possible second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.Germany reported its worst decline in GDP since 1970, with the Eurozone’s largest economy shrinking 10.1% quarter-on-quarter in Apr-Jun.Corporate earnings were high on investors' agenda on Thursday.In the US, Most share indices ended lower on Wednesday following bleak economic data.Lack of progress in talks between Congressional Democrats, Republicans and the White House on a new coronavirus aid package also weighed on sentiment.Gold futures settled lower on Thursday after nine consecutive days of gains, with the bullion retreating from a record rally as traders booked some profit.......

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