• Indian Rupee (INR) advances as banking stocks lift Indian indices
  • RBI sees inflation remaining in target
  • US Dollar (USD) eases after strong gains
  • FOMC minutes due later

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is heading southwards on Wednesday paring gains from the previous session. The pair settled +0.21% lower on Tuesday at 74.37. At 09:30 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.09% lower at 74.30.

The Indian Rupee is tracing domestic equities higher. Indian shares opened at a record high, lifted by banking shares after the Reserve Bank of India eased restrictions on the private sector lender and heavyweight HDFC Bank for issuing new credit cards.

The move by the RBI comes after it imposed restrictions on some of HDFC’s operations due to outages in its digital payment services.

Separately the RBI said that it expects inflation to remain within the central bank’s target zone for the rest of the year. Earlier in the year the RBI hiked its inflation forecast for 2021/22 to 5.7% up from 5.1%. The central bank’s target inflation range is 2% -6%.

The US Dollar is trading lower across the board on Wednesday. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies trades -0.05% at the time of writing at 93.07 after booking strong gains in the previous session.

The US Dollar rose in the previous session despite data showing that US retail sales declined by more than expected in July. Official data from the US Commerce Department showed that retail sales dropped by 1.1% in July following an upwardly revised 0.7% increase in June.

The rise in Delta covid cases appears to be curbing demand whilst higher prices as inflation soars could also be capping discretionary spending.

The weak data comes after a report released last week by the University of Michigan which showed that consumer confidence plunged to the lowest level in almost a decade.

Attention will now turn to the minutes from the latest FOMC meeting. Investors will be watching closely for clues over when the Fed could consider tapering bond purchases.