Rupee’s Gains Swift In Reversal From 80 To 79 Per Dollar And Record Lows

Rupee’s gains significant and swift in reversal from record lows

The rupee has made a significant and swift comeback to hit a one-month high in a reversal from repeated all-time lows when it breached 80 per dollar for the first time ever.

On Tuesday, the Indian currency hit a one-month high, strengthening for the fourth straight session, and was last changing hands below the 79 per dollar mark. The range of the rupee’s moves also was below the 79-to-a-dollar mark for the first time since early July.

The reversal in the rupee’s fortunes has been driven by foreign investors turning into net buyers of Indian assets and the rampant dollar stumbling to its lowest since mid-June on easing bets of aggressive Federal Reserve monetary action amid recession fears.

The dollar continued its decline on Tuesday, falling to its lowest in two months against the recovering Japanese yen and losing ground on other peers as investors continued to position for a less aggressive pace of Fed rate hikes.

The greenback fell as low as 130.595 yen in early trading, its lowest since June 6, and was last down 0.55 per cent, leaving it down 4 per cent in the past four sessions.

The greenback was also generally weaker, with sterling at $1.2256, just off a five-week peak overnight, and the euro was also on the front foot at $1.0294.

That sent the dollar index, which measures the greenback against six peers, to 105.03 in early trade, a one-month low.

International investors turned net buyers of Indian assets in July for the first time since October in a boost to the rupee, whose recovery has been even more dramatic than its collapse.

Indeed, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital market on Monday, purchasing Indian shares worth Rs 2,320.61 crore, per the latest exchange data.

“Diminishing odds for more aggressive Fed rate hikes continue to weigh on the dollar,” Kunal Sodhani, assistant vice president at Global Trading Center for FX and Rates Treasury at Shinhan Bank, told Reuters.

“Brent crude prices heading below $100 per barrel, along with the comeback of foreign institutional investor equity inflows, are assisting the rupee.”

What has also helped is the fall in oil prices, which was one of the top reasons for the currency’s declines since Russia invaded Ukraine and pushed crude prices to multi-decade highs.

India imports over 80 per cent of its oil needs, and the demand for dollars from crude importers weighed heavily on the domestic currency.

Oil prices edged lower on Tuesday, continuing a decline in the previous session, as investors worried about global crude demand following weak manufacturing data in several countries.

“Data releases over the past 24 hours have provided further evidence the global economy is slowing,” National Australia Bank strategist Rodrigo Catril wrote in a note to clients, as reported by Reuters.

“Signs of a slowdown are building” in the United States, while “China’s reopening activity burst is over,” he said.

Investors now await the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy decision on Friday, where the central bank is expected to raise its key interest rate.

However, according to a Reuters poll, there was no consensus among analysts on the size of the move, given the absence of any clear guidance from the central bank. Predictions from the 63 economists polled by Reuters ranged from a 25-bp to 50-bp hike.

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