Rupee may inch up on upbeat risk, eyes US inflation data

The Indian rupee is expected to open slightly higher on Monday boosted by the positive risk mood following the U.S. monthly jobs report.

Non-deliverable forwards indicate the rupee will open at around 81.75 to the U.S. dollar compared with 81.80 in the previous session.

Asian shares followed their U.S. peers after the jobs report somewhat allayed concerns over the economic outlook.

The U.S. economy added 253,000 jobs in April, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly declined to an over-50-year low at 3.4%. Economists polled by Reuters had expected 180,000 job additions and an unemployment rate of 3.6%. Wages grew by 0.5% against a 0.3% forecast from the economists.

"The report was rock solid, challenging expectations that the macro environment will weaken materially in Q2, with no evidence that recent banking stress and reports of tighter lending criteria have hurt hiring," ANZ said in a note.

U.S. bond yields rose on Friday following the data. Expectations regarding what the Federal Reserve will do at the June meeting were, however, broadly unchanged.

Interest rate futures indicate a more-than-90% chance the Fed will pause at the June meeting. ANZ cautioned that if momentum in the labour market is maintained, another 25 basis points increase at the June meeting will be on the table.

Strength in the report made a case that the Fed is not in a position to walk away from its tightening bias, ANZ said.

Focus now shifts to the U.S. inflation data due Wednesday with economists expecting a 0.4% month-on-month increase in the core inflation rate.

"For the rupee, this week it is difficult to see how it can move past 81.65-81.95 (last week's range)," a spot trader said.

KEY INDICATORS: ** One-month non-deliverable rupee forward at 81.84; onshore one-month forward premium at 10.5 paise ** USD/INR NSE May futures settled on Friday at 81.8325 ** USD/INR May forward premium at 7.0 paise ** Dollar index down at 101.16 ** Brent crude futures down 0.1% at $75.2 per barrel ** Ten-year U.S. note yield at 3.43% ** SGX Nifty nearest-month futures up 0.2% at 18,156 ** As per NSDL data, foreign investors bought a net $169.7mln worth of Indian shares on May 3

** Foreign investors sold a net $139.5mln worth of Indian bonds on May 3, data showed