inr-bank-notes - INR
  • Indian Rupee (INR) under pressure as covid cases continue to rise
  • Daily covid cases in India top 126,000
  • US Dollar (USD) inches lower versus major peers after dovish FOMC minutes
  • Jobless claims & Jerome Powell to speak

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is advancing for a third straight session on Thursday. The pair settled +1.2% on Wednesday at 74.35. At 14:30 UTC, USD/INR trades +0.3% at 74.58 a 4 month high.

The Indian Rupee continues to weaken following the Reserve Bank of India’s unexpected dovish move earlier in the week. The RBI kept interest rates unchanged but committed to a massive bond buying programme.  The central bank’s accommodative stance comes as inflation remains elevated but as a resurgence in covid also threatens to derail the fragile economic recovery.

The number of new daily covid cases hit a fresh record high on of 126,789 on Thursday as several states struggled with the second wave of the outbreak whilst also complaining of vaccine shortages. Concerns are rising that the resurgence of covid could knock India’s recovery. Goldman Sachs has downgraded its economic outlook for the current quarter.

The US Dollar is gaining versus the Rupee. However, it is ticking a few point lower versus its major peers. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies trades -0.08% at the time of writing at 92.38.

The minutes from the March FOMC meeting confirmed the Fed’s dovish stance and have soothed the market. The Fed stuck firmly to its accommodative stance whilst acknowledging signs that the economic recovery in the US  is picking up.

Fed policy makers consider any rise in inflation will be temporary, as a result the US central bank has no plans to start tightening monetary policy sooner than initially expected, dragging on demand for the US Dollar.

Looking ahead, US initial jobless claims will be under the spotlight. Expectations are for 680,000 initial jobless claims in the week April 2, down from 719,000 the previous week.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is also due to speak. However, he is not expected to bring anything new to the table.