Political uncertainty to pile pressure on Indian rupee
The rupee could trade in the range of 70-71 against the dollar this week.
Mumbai - Low crude oil prices also expected to limit weakness in currency
Political uncertainty, as well as capital outflows from financial markets, are likely to restrict the Indian rupee in a range of 70-71 per US dollar this week, experts said.
However, low crude oil prices are expected to limit any weakness in the Indian currency.
According to Edelweiss Securities' head of forex and Rates Sajal Gupta, the rupee closed at 70.67, thus becoming the third-best performing currency in Asia on the back of weaker crude.
"The rupee strength may be limited going forward on the back of upcoming state elections and the RBI [Reserve Bank of India] buying US dollars to recoup reserves."
Political uncertainty is expected to flare up due to the ongoing state elections; this can weaken the rupee. Elections to constitute assemblies in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram are scheduled for this month and the next.
Besides, a latest set of data showed that the RBI is making efforts to recoup its reserves. India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $568.9 million during the week ended November 16 to $393.58 billion. Also, any further outflow of foreign funds from the Indian equity and bond markets might have an adverse impact on the rupee.
Provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs8.566 billion in the week ended November 23.
"Crude oil has erased all its price gains for this year. This a major benefit to India, as we are a net consumer of oil. It also incentivises carry-trade as real rate differential between India and others becomes attractive, which adds fuel to long rupee trade," Anindya Banerjee, deputy vice-president for currency and interest rates at Kotak Securities, told IANS. "Over the next week, we can see the rupee/dollar test 70 levels and trade within a range of 70 to 71 on spot."
The rupee closed over five per cent higher at 70.67 per US dollar on Thursday from its lifetime low of 74.47, which it had hit in early October.
It gained Rs1.24 from its previous week's close of Rs71.92.