• Indian Rupee (INR) advances after RBI keeps monetary policy unchanged
  • The RBI said its sees Indian returning to growth January – March next year
  • US Dollar (USD) is under pressure on safe haven outflows
  • Optimism rises that a US fiscal stimulus package is coming

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is extending losses for a third straight session on Friday. The pair settled -0.05% on Thursday at 73.29. At 10:15 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.2% at 73.11 after hitting a weekly low. Across the week the pair is set to lose -0.2% adding to losses of -0.5% the previous week.

The Reserve Bank of India kept interest rates on hold in the latest monetary policy meeting, in line with analysts’ expectations. The bank is keeping monetary policy accommodative in order to help support the coronavirus hit economy and lift it out of its deepest slump in over 40 years.

The Indian economy has been ravaged by coronavirus. It is one of the worst hit economies owing to a strict lockdown, yet infections continue to climb. Even so, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the economy was starting to show some green shoots of recovery. He added that he expected the economy to return to growth in the coming January – March quarter.

The central bank forecasts GDP contraction of -9.5% this year. The bank kept the key lending rate at 4% whilst the reverse repo rate is at 3.35%. The RBI has cut rates by 115 basis points since the start of the pandemic last March. The bank said that it will wait for inflationary pressures to ease before acting on rates, in order to support growth. Inflation in August reached 6.69%, the top end of the RBI’s 2%-6% range for a 5th straight month.

The US Dollar is trading on the back foot versus its major peers amid a strong risk on mood in the market. Revived hopes of a US stimulus package has boosted investors risk appetite, sending the safe haven US Dollar lower.