• Indian Rupee (INR) tanks as new daily covid cases remain over 160,000
  • Maharashtra goes into lockdown
  • Pound (GBP) lifted as UK economy rebounds in February
  • UK GDP +0.4% MoM in February

The Pound Indian Rupee (GBP/INR) exchange rate is pushing higher for a sixth straight session on Tuesday. The pair settled +0.6% in the previous session. At 07:45 UTC, GBP/INR trades +0.67% at 103.71.

The Rupee trades under pressure amid rising covid cases in India and tighter lockdown restrictions in the key industrialised state of Maharashtra which is unnerving investors.

Maharashtra, the home to Mumbai and the richest start in India is the epi-centre of the second covid wave. Non-essential shops, bars, theatres have been closed again as the state goes into lockdown.

The measures come as the number of covid cases remain over 160,000 and authorities fret as thousands of of devout Indians are set to bathe iin the Ganges river on the third day of a key frestival..

On the data front, India’s retail inflation surged to a four month high in March amid rising prices for food and transport amid rising covid cases. Annual retail inflation rose to 5.5% in March, up from 5.03% in February according to data from the Ministry of Statistics.

Food items rose 4.94% in March whilst transport costs were up 13% year on year after an 8% rise in petrol prices.

The Pound picked up across the board in the previous session thanks to re-opening optimism. All shops, gyms, hair dressers and outside serving bars and restaurants reopened, taking the UK a step closer to a fully functioning economy.

UK GDP expanded 0.4% in February after rebounding from a 2.2% contraction in the first month of the year, according to data from the Office of National Statistics. Whilst wholesale and retail trade sales picked up, consumer services remained depressed, below pre-pandemic levels as the UK lockdown continued in February.

February data was slightly short of forecasts of 0.6% but show a much improved picture compared to the start of the year. With the UK economy reopening, economic growth is only expected to improve from here.