• Indian Rupee (INR) rises tracing domestic equities higher
  • Indian stocks reached a fresh record intraday high
  • US Dollar (USD) trades lower on risk outflows
  • Covid vaccine & US stimulus talks drive optimism

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is trending lower at the start of the week extending losses from the previous week. The pair settled on Friday at 73.73 its fourth consecutive week of losses. At 10:45 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.3% at 73.53.

A broad risk on mood across the financial markets is lifting demand for riskier assets and currencies such as the Indian benchmark indices and the Rupee.

Domestic equities closed higher on Monday after reaching a fresh intra-day record high on strong demand.  The Nifty 50 and the Sensex both closed 0.3% higher. Indian shares have posted 6 consecutive weeks of gains boosted by record inflows from foreign institutional investors amid covid vaccine developments and economic recovery in India.

On the data front, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Indian’s wholesale price gauge ticked up in November with prices rising 1.55% compared to a year earlier. The rise in prices weas mainly owing to an increase in manufacturing items in festival season. Analysts had predicted wholesale prices to rise 1.6%.

Risk appetite is on the rise as the US begins its covid vaccination programme following the emergency approval by the FDA on Friday. The US said that it aims to vaccinate 100 million US citizens by March.

Apparent progress in US stimulus talks over the weekend is also bolstering risk sentiment as reflected in stronger US futures. According to Reuters the $908 billion relief package currently on the table could be divided into two in an attempt to win approval. It could be introduced later today meaning a stimulus package before the Christmas recess is still a possibility.

There is no high impacting US data due for release. Risk sentiment is expected to continue driving the greenback.