MUMBAI: The Indian rupee was trading higher against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, in tandem with other Asian currencies that managed to add to their advance in the previous session.
The rupee was at 81.6150 per U.S. dollar by 10:26 a.m. IST, compared with 81.72 on Tuesday. It reached an intraday high of 81.56.
The local unit has had to contend with dollar-buying interest at around 81.50 over the last few sessions but is finding it difficult to scale that level likely due to hedging interest from importers, according to traders.
Asian currencies and shares were up ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech later in the day, which will be parsed for cues on when and at what level the Fed policy rate is likely to peak.
Futures are currently pricing in a peak rate of 5% by about the middle of next year, followed by rates cuts in late 2023.
The dollar index was hovering near 106.50 and the 2-year Treasury yield was at 4.47% –– both well below their year-to-date highs on the likelihood that the Fed will move to smaller-sized rate hikes from next month.
India's GDP data, due after market hours, is another potential source for volatility for the rupee at open on Thursday.
The Indian economy likely returned to a more normal 6.2% annual growth rate in July-September, after double-digit expansion in the previous quarter, according to a Reuters poll.
Rupee forward premiums were little changed with the 1-year implied yield just below 2%. USD/INR cash swap rate was at 0.38 paisa, near recent lows. (Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Savio D'Souza)