1. Rupee rallies to 4-month high against US dollar as Modi’s saffron wave leads in Gujarat exit polls

Rupee rallies to 4-month high against US dollar as Modi’s saffron wave leads in Gujarat exit polls

The Indian rupee rallied heavily against the US dollar to near a 4-month high on Friday after Narendra Modi's saffron wave was seen thrashing Congress in the state elections of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

By: | Updated: December 15, 2017 11:11 AM
The Indian rupee has been on a strengthening trend since after the first phase of Gujarat elections have taken place on 9 December. (Image: Reuters)

The Indian rupee rallied heavily against the US dollar to a 4-month high on Friday after Narendra Modi’s saffron wave was seen thrashing Congress in the state elections of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to win in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh as almost all exit polls by several media houses predicted a clear majority. The rupee jumped as much as 28 paise at 64.06 against the US dollar at the interbank foreign exchange market on Friday. The rupee has been on a strengthening trend since after the first phase of Gujarat elections have taken place on 9 December. In morning trade today, rupee gained 14 paise to open at 64.2 apiece US dollar. On Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India has fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 64.2798 against the US dollar and 75.9980 for the euro.

According to the latest exit polls released on Thursday after successful completion of the second phase of Gujarat elections, the BJP is set to retain Gujarat and wrest Himachal Pradesh from the Congress. Earlier yesterday, the rupee gained 10 paise against US dollar to end at 64.34 a dollar. Way back in March 2017, the rupee appreciated as much as 79 paise in a single day to close at a 16-month high against the US dollar after Bharatiya Janata Party’s landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh state elections. On 14 March 2017, rupee edged up 79 paise or 1.2%, marking the biggest gain since 19 September 2013 to settle at 65.82.

Meanwhile, Sensex and Nifty zoomed massively on Friday after it seems that Narendra Modi led BJP is likely to win the election battle in the states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party saw heading for victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh after the exit polls by various media houses showed a saffron wave in both states. As far as the state of Gujarat is concerned, almost all exit polls predicted more than 100 seats out of 182 for the BJP where the party has been positioned in power nearly for last two decades. The benchmark Sensex added as many as 370.91 points to hit the day’s high at 33,617.61 while the broader Nifty 50 index neared 10,400, rising by 119.55 points to hit the day’s high at 10,371.65.

In the state of hills Himachal Pradesh, where the electorate has chosen the Congress and BJP alternately in Assembly elections, the exit polls projected a clear majority for the saffron party, unseating the Congress. Today’s Chanakya gave BJP 135 seats in Gujarat and predicted a measly 47 for the Congress, 14 less than the opposition party has in the current Assembly. A party or an alliance has to win at least 92 seats in the 182-member House to form the government in Gujarat. The Times Now-VMR Exit poll predicted 113 seats for the BJP and 66 for the Congress, with the remaining going to others. The Republic-C Voter Exit Poll gave the BJP 108 seats and the Congress 74. The ABP-CSDS exit survey by ABP News predicted a BJP victory in 117 seats as against the Congress’s 64. The NDTV said the BJP was likely to clinch 112 seats and the Congress 70.

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