- Indian Rupee (INR) extends losses as covid cases top 200,000
- Inflation surges
- Pound (GBP) supported by vaccine rollout but momentum slows
- No UK data due today
The Pound Indian Rupee (GBP/INR) exchange rate is ticking a few pips higher on Thursday. The pair settled just a few ticks lower in the previous session -0.03% at 103.41, slightly down from the high of 103.78 hit earlier in the session. At 07:45 UTC, GBP/INR trades +0.06% at 103.47.
The Rupee remains broadly under pressure as the covid situation continues to deteriorate rapidly in the country. New daily cases are at record levels above 200,000 per day over the past 24 hours.
Maharashtra, the richest state, which is an industrial hub as well as the home to Mumbai has entered back into a strict lockdown in a bid to control the spread of the virus. The lockdown began at midnight local time and will continue until the end of April, promising to cause plenty of disruption to businesses in the region and further economic pain.
Domestic equities traded lower in the risk off mood. The Sensex trades -0.5% at the time of writing whilst the Nifty 50 trades -0.7%.
On the data front, India’s WPI wholesale inflation rose to an 8 year high of 7.39% in March up from 4.17% in February and 2.5% in January, putting pressure on the Indian central bank to take action.
Looking ahead, India’s trade balance will be in focus. Investors will be keen to see whether exports are expanding and a confirmation of $27.93 billion the preliminary March reading.
The Pound has been broadly supported versus its major peers thanks to the strong vaccine rollout. However, momentum is starting to slow.
News that the Bank of England’s Chief Economist Andy Haldane would be leaving the bank could contribute to a damper tone surrounding the Pound. Haldane has proven to be more hawkish than some of his colleagues.
Today, there is no high impacting UK data for investors to focus on so sentiment is likely to be a key driver.