• Indian Rupee (INR) strengthens as risk sentiment rises
  • WPI inflation rises in October, rate hike unlikely
  • US Dollar (USD) slips on risk outflows
  • Sentiment surges as Modena’s vaccine proves to be more effective than Pfizer’s

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is heading lower at the start of the new week, paring some gains from the previous session. The pair rallied 0.8% across the previous week settling on Friday at 74.56.  At 11:15 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.14% at 74.45.

Indian stock markets are closed today in observance of Diwali Balipratipada.

According to data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry Indian inflation based on wholesale prices (WPI) rose 1.48% in October compared to the same month last year. This was up from 1.32% in October and was also an eight-month high as manufactured goods turned costlier.

Whilst manufactured items saw price increases harden food items saw price increases soften. Food inflation weakened to 6.1% in October, down from 8.1% in September.

Separately, industrial production in September rose for the first time in 6 months whilst rising services & goods tax collection and higher energy consumption point to the green shoots of recovery.

However, consumer inflation remains elevated over 7% in October, for a second straight month, significantly ahead of the RBI’s medium-term target of 4%. These figures point to the Reserve Bank of India looking to hike interest rates. However, given the fragile nature of the economic recovery the central bank is unable to hike rates right now meaning that their hands are tied to an extent.

The US Dollar is heading southwards as risk appetite gains. Strong data out of Asia combined with optimism over a covid vaccine is overshadowing surging covid cases in US.

Last week Pfizer announced that its covid -19 vaccine was found to be 90% effective. Today Moderna a US pharmaceutical company reported that its vaccine candidate was not only more effective that Pfizer’s but it was also easier to distribute. As a result, risk sentiment jumped with investors seeking out riskier assets and currencies such as the Rupee, whilst the safe haven US Dollar fell out of favour.