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INR bank notes
  • Indian Rupee (INR) rises despite covid cases surging
  • Indian retail inflation could challenge RBI’s accommodative stance
  • US Dollar (USD) traces bond yields higher
  • President Biden to speak later

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is edging lower for a fourth straight day on Monday. The pair lost over 0.65% across the previous week, settling on Friday at 72.68. At 13:45 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.2% at 72.55 in the middle of the daily traded range.

The Rupee is extending gains despite covid cases rising sharply raising fears of a new wave. A jump in infections in the state of Maharashtra has resulted in India’s daily covid cases surge to 26,291, the highest level so far this year. A renewed lockdown is expected to be implemented today.

According to government data release late on Friday, annual inflation rose to 5.03% on the back of higher fuek prices. The climb in inflation could force the Reserve Bank of Indian to remove its accommodative stance sooner than initially expected. As a result, the Rupee gained and domestic stocks traded lower.

The US Dollar trades lower versus the Rupee. However, it is trending northwards versus its major peers. The US Dollar Index which gauges the greenback versus a basket of major peers trades +0.2% at 91.85 at the time of writing.

The US Dollar is US treasury yields higher. Rising inflation expectations reflected in the higher yields remain in under the spotlight ahead of the US central bank’s monetary policy announcement due on Wednesday.

The benchmark 10-year treasury yield shot higher to 1.64% in early European trade, a level that was last seen in February 2020. The yield has come off slightly to 1.61% at the time of writing.

US producer price index data (wholesale inflation) released at the end of last week, posted its largest yearly gain in two years. The upbeat data  points to an improving picture for US economy, even prior to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus being added.

Looking ahead, there is no high impacting US data due to released today. Instead attention will be on a speech by President Biden at 17:45 UTC, later today.