• Indian Rupee (INR) steady despite covid crisis worsening
  • Mounting pressure for full lockdown
  • US Dollar (USD) slides in risk on trading
  • US jobless claims & Challenger job cuts in focus

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is edging lower on Thursday after trading relatively flat in the previous session. The pair settled just 2 pips lower on Wednesday at 73.81. At 11:30 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.09% lower at 73.74.

The covid crisis continues to deepen in India with 412,262 new daily cases and almost 4000 deaths recorded. Government modelling had predicted the peak of the second wave would be Wednesday. However the latest covid numbers suggests that this is not the case.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming under increasing pressure to put the country back under a tight lockdown in order to stem the spread of the virus. This is something that so far he has pushed back against to avoid the negative economic impact that goes hand in hand with nationwide lockdown restrictions.

The US Dollar is falling against the Rupee and against its major peers. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies trades -0.3% at the time of writing at 91.02 after hitting a two-week high in the previous session.

The safe have US Dollar is coming under pressure amid a broad upbeat mood in the financial markets and as investors remain focused on data ahead of tomorrow’s closely watched non-farm payroll.

Yesterday, the ADP Employment report, which is often considered a good lead indicator for the non- farm payroll, revealed that 742,000 new private sector jobs were created in April. This was below expectations of 860,000 but was still the strongest month since September. As the economy reopens and businesses rebound, more jobs are being created.

Attention will now turn to the release of initial jobless claims and the Challenger job cuts data.  These numbers will help investors and the US central bank gauge the health of the US labour market ahead of tomorrow’s non-farm payrolls.