The US dollar is slightly higher against the Indian rupee on Friday.

  • India Independence Day tomorrow
  • Over 1000 deaths from coronavirus in India in last 24 hours
  • US retail sales miss but ex-autos beat expectations

USD/INR was higher by 6 pips (+0.09%) to 74.87 as of 2pm GMT. This week the dollar-Indian rupee exchange rate has moved down moderately by -0.20%.

The currency pair saw an early dip to 74.75 but later rebounded to turn positive on the day, holding the line near 75.0.

INR: India Independence Day

Trading was thin in Indian markets with many traders already taking off ahead of India Independence Day on Saturday. Across the week, trading volumes have dropped for the typically slower late August summer trading period.

The dollar-rupee exchange rate is still hugging the bottom of its 5-month trading range with markets having already priced in the high levels of coronavirus cases currently prevalent in the country. There were 64,533 new cases in the last 24 hours and 1007 new deaths. The total number of cases puts India at third in the world behind the United States and Brazil.

USD: Retail sales mixed reaction

The dollar turned down from its highs, but remained up on the day over the rupee following a mixed US retail sales report. The internals of the report and last month’s revisions were much better than the headline retail sales figure which came in at 1.2% – almost half the 2.1% expected.

The headline number missed expectations but sales excluding automobiles (ex-autos) saw a bigger rise than expected, and the number for June was revised up. There was a deceleration from the June figures overall, but that was to be expected since a lot of the rise in June was pent up demand from during the lockdown.

The other takeaway is that it is probably too broad to look at only the headline retails sales number because there is a lot of difference across the sectors- as might be expected given the pandemic and the differing social distancing rules and the needs around remote working. Building materials sales did very well as people turned to fixing up their houses where as people saw less need to buy new clothing when at home, so clothing sales dropped significantly.