indian-rupee-bank-notes - INR
  • Indian Rupee (INR) rises despite COVID cases surging
  • Omicron hit to the economy is expected to be limited
  • US Dollar (USD) eases after strong gains
  • High inflation & Fed fears boosted the buck

The US Dollar Indian Rupee (USD/INR) exchange rate is moving lower on Wednesday, snapping a four-day winning run. The pair rose +0.43% on Tuesday settling at 74.56. At 13:00 UTC, USD/INR trades -0.16% at 74.44.

The Rupee is pushing higher despite COVID cases hitting an 8-month high. India reported 282,970 new infections over the past 24 hours bringing the total to 37.9 million.

Even so, economists have said that they expect limited downside risk to the Indian economy from Omicron in the last month of the financial year.

A recent poll by over 45 economists on Reuters saw forecasts of 5% economic growth in the current quarter. This would put full year growth at 9.2%, slightly down from the 9.5% forecast last month. The current COVID restrictions are not as harsh and therefore are not expected to have such a severe impact.

The US Dollar is trading lower across the board. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies trades -0.13% at the time of writing at 95.62 after strong gains in the previous session.

The US dollar pushed higher yesterday, tracing treasury yields northwards, amid expectations that the Federal Reserve could need to act aggressively to rein in surging inflation. Traders were re-positioning themselves for a more hawkish Fed ahead of the FOMC next week.

Inflation jumped to 7% in December. However, rising oil prices underscored how price pressures remain acute.

The broad expectation is that the Fed could start to hike interest rates in March, with 3 to 4 rate raises needed through the year, if not more.

After several days of gains, USD buyers are pausing from breath today. There is no high impacting US data due for release today. US building permits could attract some attention, but are rarely market moving numbers.