• Indian Rupee (INR) strengthens after steep losses on Monday
  • CPI inflation expected to move back into RBI’s target range
  • US Dollar (USD) boosted by strong jobs data & hawkish Fed comments
  • US CPI data due Wednesday

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is heading lower after strong gains in the previous session. The pair settled 0.3% higher on Monday at 74.48. At 10:00 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.16% higher at 74.35.

India’s retail inflation is expected to have slowed in the three months to July, which would bring it back within the Reserve Bank of India’s target range. The decline in inflation is expected owing to falling food prices and an easing of supply chain disruptions.

A Reuters poll of 48 economists revealed that CPI inflation eased back to 5.78% in July down from 6.26% in June. This would mark the lowest inflation print since May. The RBI’s target band is 2% -6%.

Lower inflation expectations come after the RBI voted to keep monetary policy on hold in its latest meeting. The central bank forecasts inflation of 5.7% for fiscal year 2021/22.

The US Dollar is trading lower versus the Rupee but flat versus its major peers. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies trades steady at 92.94 after strong gains in the previous session. The US Dollar index posted gains of 0.68% across the previous week.

The US Dollar is broadly buoyant after strong jobs data cemented expectations that the US Federal Reserve could start to taper support sooner rather than later.

Friday’s non-farm payroll report came in better than forecast with 943,000 new jobs added in July. The US Labour department also reported JOLTs job openings also rose by 590,000 to a record 10.1 million.

Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic, the first Fed speak after the upbeat jobs data said he was looking at the fourth quarter of this year to start tapering bond purchases. His announcement boosted the greenback.

Today there is little in the way of economic data. Investors will instead focus on tomorrow’s consumer price inflation data.