Indian rupee today hit a fresh low against the US dollar today. At day’s low, rupee tumbled to 77.59 vs USD as compared to previous close of 77.23. Data released on Wednesday showed that though US inflation dipped a bit in April it still remained at elevated levels, bolstering the case for aggressive monetary tightening. It also sparked a fresh tumble in global equities. Indian markets were down over 1.8% today.
“Rupee is expected to remain under pressure today amid risk aversion in the global markets and strong dollar. Further, rupee may slip on persistent FII outflows and a surge in crude oil prices. Additionally, market participants will remain vigilant ahead of CPI data from country which is likely to show that inflation remained above RBI comfort zone for 4th consecutive month. USD-INR (May) is expected to trade in a range of 77.25-77.75,” ICICI Securities said in a note.
After opening weaker at 77.46, the rupee traded in the range of 77.46 to 77.59 against the US dollar today. So far this year, the USD is up 4.3% against the Indian currency, according to Bloomberg data.
“The US CPI rose 0.3% last month versus the 1.2% month-to-month surge in the CPI in March, while on an annual basis, CPI climbed 8.3%, higher than the 8.1% estimate but below 8.5% the prior month. Meanwhile, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the U.S. inflation was broader and more persistent and that he would like to see the policy rate at 3.5% at year-end,” said Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities.
The Indian CPI numbers will be announced later today.
“The Fed rate is currently at 0.75%-1% and the U.S. central bank is scheduled to meet five more times this year. If the Fed rate were to get near to 3.5%, it would mean 50-bps increases at each of the meetings,” Iyer said.
Though crude oil dropped more than 1% today, it remained at elevated levels of $106.26 a barrel. India is the world’s third-largest importer and consumer of oil, and a rise in crude prices tends to push the country’s trade and current account deficit higher.
Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities, says that rupee is likely to be under pressure till the time it trades below 76.50 which is 20-dma resistance on the closing basis. (With Agency Inputs)