• Indian Rupee (INR) falls as new covid cases hit 200,000
  • WPI inflation jumps to 8 year high
  • US Dollar (USD) trades at monthly low versus major peers
  • US retail sales and initial jobless claims in focus

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange is rising again on Thursday, after the winning run paused for break in the previous session. The pair settled -0.27% lower on Wednesday at 75.05. At 12:00 UTC, USD/INR trades +0.07% at 75.10. The price continues to hover at an 8 month high.

The Rupee remains pressurised amid growing concerns for the economic outlook as covid cases continue to surge. India’s new daily infections have reached a new record high above 200,000. The elevated figure comes as the financial hub of Mumbai and the surrounding region entered into lockdown.

On the data front, India’s wholesale inflation as measured by WPI spiked to an eight year high of 7.89% in March. Rising crude oil prices and metal prices sent inflation surging in the third straight month of rising inflation. WPI inflation was 4.17% in February and just 0.2% in March last year.

The US Dollar is rising versus the Rupee. However, it is ticking a few pips lower versus its major peers. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies trades -0.02% at the time of writing at 91.64 as it hovers around its monthly low.

In a virtual event organized by the Economic Club of Washington, US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that the US central bank intends to keep monetary policy accommodative. Fed Chair Powell reassured the markets that an interest rate rise this year or next year was highly unlikely.

Later today there is a slew of data due from the US. The most closely watched will be US retail sales, which are expected to reveal a strong rebound in March after weak figures in February. Analysts are forecasting a 6.3% surge in sales in March compared to February, after a -2.2% decline monthly decline.

US initial jobless claims will also be in focus for further clues as to the recovery in the US labour market.