The Indian rupee commenced trading at 83.3690 against the US dollar on Wednesday, equivalent to approximately Dh22.716, showing minimal variation from its prior close at 83.4150, or about Dh22.728. The rupee experienced an uptick on Tuesday, attributed to dollar sales by state-run banks, possibly on behalf of merchant clients. Market participants anticipate that the domestic currency's upward movement may be constrained as importers are expected to intervene to meet their hedging needs. In the Asian markets, shares climbed to a one-month peak on Wednesday, driven by a surge in tech stocks, while the dollar remained stable. This stability came as soft U.S. retail sales data reinforced expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut later in the year. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan increased by 1%, poised for a more than 4% gain in June. Tech stocks in the region soared over 2% to a new record high, with AI leader Nvidia surpassing Microsoft to claim the title of the world's most valuable company on Tuesday. U.S. markets are closed on Wednesday, which is likely to result in subdued trading activity throughout the day. U.S. retail sales showed only a slight increase in May, and figures from the previous month were significantly revised downward, indicating that economic activity remained sluggish in the second quarter. Last week, moderate U.S. inflation readings contrasted with the generally hawkish tone of Fed officials, who reduced their earlier median forecast of three quarter-point rate cuts this year to just one. 'Rate cuts are more likely in 2025, but the expectation of a larger impact over the next two years, even if 2024 remains uncertain, should continue to support the markets,' Menon noted. Fed officials are seeking further evidence of cooling inflation and are vigilant for any signs of strain from a still robust labor market as they cautiously approach what most anticipate will be one or two rate cuts by the end of the year. In Asia, the Japanese yen remained stable at 157.835 per dollar, staying near its six-week low of 158.255 reached last week, under pressure due to the significant interest rate differential between Japan and the United States.