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Rupee snaps 3-day rise as rising inflation fans rate hike fears

A combination of declining domestic macro stability and growing prospects of interest rate hike largely weighed on trade during the day.

PTI India
Updated: 16-07-2018 18:47 IST

The rupee retreated from a near two-week high and ended lower by 4 paise at 68.57 against the US currency, snapping a three-session recovery trend due to renewed dollar demand.

A combination of declining domestic macro stability and growing prospects of interest rate hike largely weighed on trade during the day.

The home currency, however, managed to survive the initial sharp volatility and uneasy momentum. It initially plunged to hit a low of 68.72 in morning deals before recouping most its losses towards the tail-end.

Falling global crude prices predominantly provide some support to the rupee at lower levels, a forex dealer said.

Overall, forex market sentiment turned highly fragile after data showed inflation based on wholesale prices shot up to more than four-year high of 5.77 per cent in June even as expectations of another rate hike from the RBI rose further in its upcoming policy meet.

Also, weekend data released by the CSO showed retail inflation spiked to a five-month high of 5 per cent in June, while industrial production growth slipped to a seven-month low of 3.2 per cent in May.

This coupled with a sell-off in local equity markets and fresh pickup in the US Dollar demand further aggravated the selling pressure.

Most of Asian currencies were in the depreciating mode today.

On the energy front, crude prices tumbled nearly 2 per cent as concerns about supply disruptions eased and Libyan ports reopened while traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other oil producers.

The benchmark Brent was trading at USD 73.54 a barrel in early Asian trade.

The Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report, scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday, might offer fresh clues over the central bank's near-term monetary policy outlook and eventually provide some fresh directional impetus.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the rupee opened weak at 68.55 from last Friday's close of 68.53 on fresh bouts of dollar demand from importers and banks.

After briefly making some positive traction, it drifted lower through the mid-session to hit a low of 68.72.

However, the local unit staged a spirited rebound in late afternoon deals to regain most of its initial losses to end at 68.57, showing a nominal fall of 4 paise.

The Indian rupee had ended at a two-week high of 68.53 on Friday.

Financial Benchmarks India Pvt Ltd, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 68.5877 and for the euro at 80.2526.

The domestic bond market also remained under selling pressure on rate hike expectations and the 10-year benchmark yield edged up to 7.80 per cent.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against a basket of six major currencies, was down at 94.25.

In the cross, the rupee fell back sharply against the pound sterling to close at 91.09 per pound from 89.92 and declined against the euro to settle at 80.39 as compared to 79.64. It also dropped against the Japanese yen to end 61.05 per 100 yens from 60.86 earlier.

In forward market today, premium for dollar continued to fall owing to sustained receiving from exporters.

The benchmark six-month forward premium payable in November eased to 108.75-110.75 paise from 109.50-111.50 paise and the far-forward May 2019 contract also softened to 255.25-257.25 paise from 256.75-258.75 paise.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)