* Rupee ends at 54.75/76 per dlr vs 54.99/55.00 on Tues
* Dlr selling by a large petrochemical firm boosts rupee
* Some ECB inflows also spotted; oil demand limits more
By Swati Bhat
MUMBAI, Jan 9 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee gained for a
second straight session on Wednesday, boosted largely due to
dollar sales by a large petrochemical firm which helped offset
the demand for the greenback from oil firms.
The overall rupee outlook remains clouded on the back of the
various macro-economic concerns, though in the near-term likely
rate cuts are expected to boost foreign fund inflows and help
the currency gain.
Traders have discounted a 25-basis-point cut in key rates by
the Reserve Bank of India at its policy review on Jan. 29 and
calls for a bigger cut are slowly growing in the market.
Industrial output data on Friday and the inflation report on
Monday will be key in further setting expectations ahead of that
meeting, analysts said.
"Oil demand limited gains in the rupee and I heard of some
external commercial borrowing inflows as well," said Vikas Babu
Chittiprolu, a senior foreign exchange dealer with Andhra Bank.
"I am expecting 54.65 to 55.10 range for tomorrow. Friday's
industrial data and Monday's inflation are both important for
the market as the rate decision at the end of this month is
dependant on them," the state-run bank dealer added.
The partially convertible rupee closed at 54.75/76
per dollar, stronger than Tuesday's close of 54.99/55.00.
Traders said some external commercial borrowing-related
inflows were also seen in the market, boosting the rupee
However, oil firms, the largest buyers of dollars in the
domestic currency market, were seen purchasing the greenback
intermittently, preventing sharper gains in the local unit.
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the one-month
contract was at 55.09 while the three-month was at 55.68.
In the currency futures market, the most-traded near-month
dollar/rupee contract on the National Stock Exchange, the MCX-SX
and the United Stock Exchange, all closed at around 55.00 with a
total traded volume of around $5.4 billion.
(Editing by Sunil Nair)