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Rupee Inches Up but may Tiptoe in Tight Range ahead of US CPI, Fed Outcome

MUMBAI, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee edged higher on Tuesday, with traders anticipating a narrow trading range as they await a closely watched U.S. inflation report and the outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting.

The rupee was at 83.3650 against the U.S. dollar as of 10:15 a.m. IST, up 0.03% from its previous closing at 83.3925.

The dollar index was little changed at 103.97, while most Asian currencies retreated, with the Thai baht leading losses, down by 0.8%.

"The rupee seems locked in a remarkably narrow trading range, requiring significant events or substantial flows to prompt a reversal," said Amit Pabari, managing director at foreign exchange advisory firm CR Forex.

The rupee has oscillated between 83.2475 and 83.40 so far in December. The Reserve Bank of India has intervened multiple times to limit the rupee's losses near 83.40, traders said.

"Not expecting much action today (on the rupee)," ahead of the U.S. inflation data and the Fed's policy outcome, a forex trader at a private bank said.

Consumer inflation data in the U.S., due on Tuesday, is expected to show that core CPI rose to 0.3% month-on-month in November, up from 0.2% in October, according to a Reuters poll.

Meanwhile, the Fed is expected to keep rates unchanged on Wednesday. However, investors will be keeping an eye on the Fed's projections and commentary for cues on the future policy rates.

Fed futures are currently pricing in about 125 bps of rate cuts through 2024, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.

India will also report retail inflation data on Tuesday with expectations that year-on-year CPI rose to 5.70% in November, up from 4.87% in October, according to a Reuters poll.

Reporting by Jaspreet Kalra; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil

Source: Reuters

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