The Indian rupee continued strengthening on Wednesday after recording the single best gain in five years on Tuesday. The domestic currency opened 34 paise higher against the US dollar on Wednesday morning at 70.10 and continued to gain to an intraday low of 69.86 per dollar. It is the first time since 3 December that the rupee has breached the 70 level.
The decline in international crude prices has been providing great support to the Indian currency. On Tuesday, global oil benchmarks Brent and US WTI fell sharply below their $50/ barrel and $60/ barrel respectively, the lowest level for the year 2018, amid concerns of oversupply and a slowing global economy.
US West Texas Intermediate futures fell to $46.24 per barrel after a 7.3 percent fall on Tuesday and touched its lowest since August 2017. Brent crude futures dropped 5.6 percent to $56.26 a barrel on Tuesday and even touched its 14-month low at one point.
To further add to the prevailing oversupply concerns from the OPEC, the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday said that US crude inventories had reportedly shown an unexpected increase. Analysts expect that any stabilisation in prices could only come in January when the agreed output cut of 1.2 million barrels per day from the OPEC would become effective.