Rupee breaches historic 70 mark against dollar; recovers at close as RBI intervenes
Mumbai, Aug 14 (PTI) The rupee today breached the historic low of 70-mark against the US dollar today before recovering at close on suspected RBI intervention and the finance ministry's dismissing the concerns over its sharp fall.
The local currency crashed below the 70-mark in early trade to touch all-time low of 70.10 a day after bloodletting in global markets due to worries over Turkish economic crisis and a sharp plunge in the lira.
A rebound in oil prices, FII outflows and concerns over currrent account deficit weighed on the domestic currency, pushing it to fresh life-time lows.
Heavy intervention by the RBI predominantly resisted the rupee's sharp depreciation and staged a spirited recovery from its life-time low, a currency trader said.
The Finance Ministry attributed the sharp fall in rupee to "external factors" and stressed that there was nothing to worry about as long as the depreciation was in line with other currencies.
SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said all currencies have weakened against the dollar, but the Indian currency has not weakened very much in comparison to other currencies.
B Prasanna of ICICI Bank said the rupee is the victim of a contagion effect impacting all Emerging Markets (EMs) triggered by the Turkish crisis.
A relief rally in local equities amid a recovery in global markets, including the Turkish lira, further supported the forex sentiment.
The Turkey's currency found its footing after two days of intense selling after the central bank announced an emergency liquidity boost to calm investors nerves. It recovered to 6.57 against the dollar and 7.50 to the euro today from record lows hit yesterday.
On the home front, a benign domestic inflation outlook and robust industrial output data also helped strengthen the rupee sentiment.
Data showed retail inflation fell to nine-month low of 4.17 per cent and the wholesale inflation eased to 5.09 per cent in July, reducing the odds of a further rate hike.
The Indian unit finally settled at 69.69, showing a modest gain of 4 paise.
The Indian currency has lost over 9.49 per cent of its value this year so far against the grim backdrop of India's ballooning fiscal deficit and surging crude prices.
August has marked the largest devaluation of the rupee against the dollar in the past year.
On the energy front, crude prices rose after Saudi Arabia said it had cut production in July, though concerns over a slowdown in global economic growth kept a lid on markets.
The benchmark Brent rose by USD 0.66 to USD 73.27 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate firmed up 61 cents to USD 67.81 per barrel.
In the cross currency trade, the rupee remained under pressure against the pound sterling to end at 89.21 per pound from 89.13 and also drifted further against the euro to close at 79.69 compared to 79.52 earlier.
The local unit, however bounced back against the Japanese yen to finish at 63.05 per 100 yens from 63.37.
In forward market today, premium for dollar dropped due to heavy receiving from exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward premium payable in December slumped to 107-109 paise from 112-114 paise and the far-forward June 2019 contract moved down to 253-255 paise from 260-262 paise yesterday.
The forex and money market will be closed tomorrow on account of the Independence Day. PTI EDM MR MR
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