Rupee plunges to fresh record low of 73.77 against dollar

05 October, 2018, 14:11 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • RBI Monetary Policy Credible tight monetary policy isn’t “currency defense” to draw in more flows

"However, there is a probability of change in neutral stance too, as three successive rate hikes with a neutral stance could contradict RBI message", the research report said. Consistent dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, following higher crude oil prices, kept the rupee under pressure.

The Reserve Bank of India has chose to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent.

If the RBI does raise rates, it would be the latest in a series of emerging market central banks that have been pressured into tightening policy in response to a tumbling currency.

The Indian rupee slumped to a new all-time low of 74.23 against the US dollar, weakening from around the 73.65 ahead of the RBI policy statement.

The 10-year gilt yield stood at 8.061%, down from its previous close of 8.157%.

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The Indian rupee is the worst performing Asian currency this year, having lost more than 13 per cent.

The meeting assumes significance as the rupee has hit an all-time high of 73.74 against the USA dollar, which would raise India's import bill and widen the trade deficit (difference between imports and exports). The comments raised the possibility of another Bank Indonesian rate hike before mid-December although it has already raised interest rates five times since mid-May.

With a general election due by May next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party will want to campaign on strong economic growth and success in containing inflation. The risk to food inflation from spatially and temporally uneven rainfall is also mitigated, as confirmed by the first advance estimates that have placed production of major kharif crops for 2018-19 higher than last year's record.

The RBI reiterated its target of keeping consumer inflation at 4.00 percent in the medium term on a "durable basis", and projected a rate of 4.8 percent by June 2019, slightly better than the 5.0 percent forecast it gave in August.

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