India's currency falls to all-time low against USA dollar


Indonesia's central bank governor stressed the need to raise interest rates before the Fed to avoid "drastic" capital outflows in the wake of a heavily flagged Fed hike in December.

The rupee opened lower at 73.26 per dollar on Wednesday due to high crude oil prices against the last close of 72.91 per dollar. Five of the six panel members voted to leave the rate unchanged. Also, it is up to the commercial banks either they want to keep interest rates 'stagnant or want to raise them. The question was only of timing, said Radhika Rao, an economist at DBS in Singapore.

The rupee collapsed to a fresh low of 73.77 against the USA dollar on Thursday, as global oil prices continued to rise, deepening concerns about the current account deficit and capital outflows.

India's benchmark 10-year sovereign yield rose to 8.16%.

It has fallen more than 14 percent since January, making it the worst performing major Asian emerging market currency.

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The meeting assumes significance as the rupee has hit an all-time high of 73.74 against the United States dollar, which would raise India's import bill and widen the trade deficit (difference between imports and exports). Reportedly, several banks have been raising the interest rates even before the RBI has raised the repo rates in June. During April-June India's balance of payments slipped into deficit for the first time in six quarters.

The greenback also shot to its highest so far this year on the yen and an all-time high against the Indian rupee.

In its policy statement on Friday, the RBI said headwinds in the form of escalating trade tensions, volatile and rising oil prices, and tightening financial conditions globally posed substantial risks to the growth and inflation outlook.

Mr Gandhi took aim at Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, accusing him of remaining silent over the rupee crisis.

A labourer carries an iron pipe at the construction site of a residential complex on the outskirts of Kolkata, October 5, 2018.