- Indian Rupee (INR) trades higher but looks set for weekly losses
- Gasoline sakes in India rise for first time since covid lockdown
- US Dollar (USD) eases after solid gains across the week
- US retail sales in focus
The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is trending lower on Friday paring gains from the previous session. The pair settled +0.25% higher on Thursday at 73.42. At 11:15 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.1% at 73.32. The pair is on track for +0.4% gains across the week, after two consecutive weeks of losses.
Indian gasoline sales rose in October for the first time since the nationwide covid lockdown began in late March. Diesel sales by India’s 3 state fuel retailers rose 8.8% year on year in the first half of October according to Indian Oil Corp, the country’s largest refiner.
Gasoline sales, which are approximately two fifths of the overall fuel demand in India hit 2.65 million tonnes, gaining over 24% since the previous month. This is an encouraging sign for the economy, suggesting that industrial activity was rising prior to the start of festival season.
The US Dollar is edging lower versus its major peers after a week of solid gains in risk off trading. The mood in the market soured this week as covid cases continued rising and lockdown restrictions tightened. Fears that the fragile economic recovery will be derailed dragged on sentiment. As a result, investors have moved towards safe havens such as the US Dollar, whilst selling out of riskier assets.
The lack of an additional covid relief package has added to the downbeat mood, particularly as the US economic recovery is showing signs of stalling. Recent data showed that US jobless claims increased by 898,000 last week, a 7-week high. With the US elections so close it is unlikely that the Republicans and Democrats will reach an agreement until after US goes to the polls.
Attention now will turn to US retail sales. Analysts are expecting sales to increase +0.7% month on month in September.