business-man-calculating-inr-bank-notes - INR
  • Indian Rupee (INR) declines for second session
  • Consumer prices in India (Oct) expected at 7.3% preventing RBI from cutting repo rate
  • US Dollar (USD) picks up marginally after steep sell off following Pfizer announcement
  • US Covid cases hit 100k per day for 6th straight day

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is extending gains on Tuesday.  The pair settled in the previous session +0.1% higher at 74.03. At 11:15 UTC, USD/INR trades +0.3% at 74.26, towards the high of the day.

India’s retail inflation remained above 7% for a second consecutive month in October as supply issues led to soring vegetable prices, particularly in onions. Disruption both from the covid pandemic combined with excessive rainfall has resulted in the delay and damage of the onion harvest, a key ingredient in Indian kitchens.

According to a Reuters poll of 50 economists, the expectation is for consumers prices to have risen 7.3% in October compared to a year earlier. This would be just a touch lower than September’s 7.34%.

If this level of inflation is realised, it would sit at the top end of the Reserve Bank of India’s medium term target of 2% – 6% for the seventh straight month. The elevated levels of inflation dampened the prospects of any further interest rate cuts to help boost the economy. The RBI has already cut the rate by 115 basis points since March. Owing to the high levels of inflation the central bank is not expected to cut rates again until February.

Demand remains weak in the Indian economy, which experienced a GDP contraction of 23.9% in the April – June quarter.

The US Dollar is edging marginally higher versus its major peers on Tuesday, after falling heavily in the previous session. An announcement from Pfizer that their covid vaccine candidate was 90% effective and could be rolled out by the end of the year sent risk appetite surging on Monday, which dented demand for the safe haven US Dollar.

Today, investors are showing more caution, questioning timeframes and distributions, particularly as the number of new daily covid cases in the US hits 100,000 a day for the 6th straight day.