Monday May 09, 2022

Indian rupee hits record low on global economic growth worries

Indian rupee hits record low on  global economic growth worries

An employee counts Indian rupee currency notes inside a private money exchange office in New Delhi. File/ Reuters

The Indian rupee extended its losses and touched an all-time low of 77.42 against the US dollar in early trade on Monday. The Indian currency is weighed by the strength of the American currency in the overseas market and continued foreign fund outflows. Further, rupee slipped on surge in crude oil prices.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 5,517.08 crore, as per stock exchange data. They have been selling equities constantly in the recent months.

Rupee has been under-pressure after global central banks started normalising policy and last week RBI too started raising key interest rates.

On Friday, the rupee had slumped 55 paise to close at 76.90 against the US dollar.

“Local units are also hit by haven dollar flows, higher global rates due to rising inflation and risk-off sentiments. Weakness in Chinese yuan, which fell to its weakest level since November 2020, also weighing on regional currencies,” said Dilip Parmar, Retail Research Analyst at HDFC Securities.

So far this year, foreign institutions have withdrawn a total of nearly $19 billion from domestic equities and debt markets, Parmar said.

Parmar sees near term depreciation in rupee could continue for a few more days with lower side limited in the range of 77.70 to 78. In the event of unwinding, the rupee could see levels of 77 to 76.70.

According to Sugandha Sachdeva, VP-Commodity and Currency Research at Religare Broking, the Indian rupee has plummeted to record lows amid the deteriorating risk sentiments and the unrelenting spree of overseas outflows from the domestic equities.

Besides, an unabated rise in the dollar index towards a two-decade high, soaring US treasury yields and crude prices, all of them have worked their way to push the domestic currency on a downward trajectory, Sachdeva told IANS.

“Markets are concerned about the spiralling inflation and prospects of an aggressive tightening path that continues to threaten the growth outlook, leading to safe-haven flows in the greenback.”

Also, hardening crude oil prices as the EU is moving ahead to impose an embargo on Russian oil are roiling the sentiments, leading to worries about the widening current account deficit and exacerbating the pressure on the domestic currency.

Going ahead, as the Indian rupee has breached the previous all-time lows of the 77.14-mark, it seems poised to witness further depreciation towards the 78-mark in the near term.

Sachdeva, however, anticipates that RBI will intervene around the 78-mark to curb excessive depreciation in the Indian currency.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 5,517.08 crore, as per stock exchange data.

On Friday, the rupee had slumped 55 paise to close at 76.90 against the US dollar. Further, the rupee slipped on a surge in crude oil prices.

Meanwhile the Indian shares fell and the rupee hit an all-time low on Monday, weighed down by global economic growth worries due to tightening of lockdown in Shanghai and fears inflation could increase aggressive policy tightening from central banks. The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.67 per cent at 16,301.85 at close, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.67 per cent to 54,470.67. The Indian rupee tumbled to a record low of 77.52 against the US dollar earlier in the session. It settled at 77.465.

“Hawkish stance by the Fed (US Federal Reserve), rate hikes by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) have created an atmosphere of risk-off for equities and we don’t know how long this will last,” said V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services

India’s benchmark indexes on Friday registered their worst week since November, dented by a surprise interest-rate hike by the RBI, foreign fund outflows and mixed corporate results.

“Even after Nifty’s correction last week, it is trading at around 19 times FY23 earnings, which is higher than the long-term average and not a buyable valuation, particularly when global equity markets are facing headwinds like risk of slowdown in economic growth, Ukraine war and supply-chain disruptions caused by stringent lockdown in China,” Vijayakumar added.

Shanghai authorities were tightening the city-wide COVID-19 lockdown they imposed over a month ago, prolonging into late-May.

In India, Nifty’s public-sector bank, metal, energy and fast-moving consumer goods sub-indexes were among the top losers, declining between 1 per cent and 2.7 per cent.

Reliance Industries reported a 22.5 per cent rise in fourth-quarter profit. The conglomerate’s shares closed 3.9% lower in its sixth consecutive session of losses, amid a weak Mumbai market.


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