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  • Indian Rupee (INR) steadies after 3-days of losses
  • RBI to hike rates by 25 bps
  • US Dollar (USD) rises ahead of Fed Powell
  • Will he sound more hawkish after strong jobs data?

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is falling, snapping a three-day winning run. The pair settled +0.67% higher on Monday at 82.75. At 10:00 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.05% at 82.71 and trades in a range of 82.63 to 82.80.

The Indian Rupee is trading broadly flat with central bankers in focus. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is due to speak, and attention is also shifting to the Reserve Bank of India’s interest rate decision tomorrow.

The Indian central bank is widely expected to raise rates by 25 basis points as it attempts to rein in inflation while also supporting economic growth. This would take the main lending rate to 6.5% before the central bank is widely expected to leave rates on hold.

The central bank rate decision comes a week after the government’s budget. Growth is expected to slow to 6% in 2023/4 from an expected 6.7% in the current fiscal year.

The US Dollar is falling across the board. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies, trades -0.06% at the time of writing at 103.56 after straight sessions of gains.

The US dollar is heading there on Tuesday, consolidating recent gains ahead of a speech from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell. Powell will be speaking at the economic club of Washington later and investors will be watching closely to see whether he adopts a more hawkish bias following the very strong jobs data on Friday.

The non-farm payroll report showed that job creation skyrocketed in January with 517,000 jobs added. Meanwhile, unemployment fell unexpectedly two 5.4%. The data highlights the strength in the US labour market even as inflation remains high and interest rates increase. US ISM services PMI data on Friday was also much stronger than expected.

A hawkish-sounding Federal Reserve Chair Powell could boost the USD higher as investors rein in expectations of a more dovish approach to monetary policy.