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Rupee seen breaching 66/dollar in a month

Recent appreciation due to US Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates unchanged

Neelasri Barman  |  Mumbai 

BS Poll: Rupee seen breaching 66 a month down the line

The rupee is seen as weakening from current levels and again breaching 66 to a dollar, in a poll conducted by Business Standard. The median forecast of 10 experts showed the rupee at 66.1 a month down the line. Two respondents said it could touch 66.5.

The rupee’s recent appreciation was due to the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged in a meeting held last week. The market is factoring in a 25 basis points cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its policy review to be announced next week, due to which the rupee could strengthen further.

However, experts believe the appreciation will be temporary. “I do not think RBI will be comfortable seeing the rupee beyond 65.5. The rupee will gradually start converging with the weakness of other emerging market (EM) currencies,” said Anindya Banerjee, currency analyst, Kotak Securities.

Rupee seen breaching 66/dollar in a month
Last month, the government of China had devalued the yuan and the rupee weakened by 3.65 per cent. However, since the start of this month, the rupee has appreciated by 1.1 per cent. On Monday, it ended at 65.74 a dollar, from the previous close of 65.67.

At the end of the two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee of the US central bank, earlier this month, a rise in interest rates was delayed due to factors like low inflation, an uncertain global outlook for growth and financial market turmoil. Rates there have stayed near zero since late 2008. Some experts feel the delay in raising rates there has continued to bother the markets here. It is anticipated that once the US Fed starts raising rates, there will be outflows from EMs, including India.

“The rupee continues to stay under pressure from the bullish undertone of the dollar against major and emerging markets’ currencies, with a risk of sudden shift of foreign institutional investor (FII) flows, from net inflows to outflows, given the downside risks on both equity and bond markets in the short term for the rest of 2015 and the current financial year,” said J Moses Harding, group chief executive, liability and treasury management, Srei Infrastructure

He feels the the correction from 66.60-66.85 to 65.50-65.65 is in order, adjusting for the excessive rupee weakness from 63.35 in quick time. “The short- term outlook from a combination of domestic and external cues favour the dollar/rupee near-term consolidation at 65/65.50-67, with a bias into the higher end on good importer demand against the risk of temporary exit by FIIs,” he said.

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First Published: Tue, September 22 2015. 00:36 IST