The US dollar is up against the Indian rupee on Tuesday morning ahead of the semi-annual testimony of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Capital Hill. A small recovery from a one-year low in crude oil prices is pressuring the rupee due to India’s large oil imports.
USD/INR was higher by 12 pips (+0.02%) to 71.297 with a daily range of 71.185 to 71.322 as of 10am GMT. Initial losses reversed after touching 71.20 which acted as support.
USD/INR: Powell’s testimony to determine USD trend
The main event for forex markets on Tuesday will be the semi-annual testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Capitol Hill. It is a two-day affair whereby Powell will speak to Congress today and the Senate tomorrow. It is an election year so there will likely be lots of questions on tax policy and the like from Congressmen and Congresswomen that Powell will try to dodge in order to remain politically impartial.
For markets, Powell’s take on the possible implications of the coronavirus and what policy measures might be needed to combat it will be of utmost importance. Stock markets tend to rise while the US dollar tends to fall at any hint the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates. If Powell keeps the door open for further rate cuts later this year, perhaps as a necessary tool to use against any negative economic impact of the coronavirus, then the dollar could come under pressure.
Rupee down as investors reduce exposure to Asia
A positive open in Indian stock markets offered some initial support to the rupee on Tuesday but ongoing fund outflows saw those gains reverse as the day went on. Foreign investors are reducing exposure to Asia in their portfolios amid the coronavirus outbreak and India specifically because of its faltering economy.
WTI crude oil was higher by 1.69% to $50.41 barrel having slipped below $50 to a new one-year low on Monday. As one of the biggest net-importers of oil, India’s economy tends to benefit from lower crude oil prices and as such the Indian rupee is generally inversely correlated with the price of a barrel of oil.