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Opening Rally of Indian Rupee Falters in the Face of Corporate Dollar Demand

by Onuraag Das   ·  July 14, 2023   ·  

The Indian rupee falters and experienced a lackluster trading session on Friday as corporate dollar demand weighed on the currency, causing it to retreat from its early morning highs. At 10:34 a.m. IST, the rupee was trading at 82.0625 against the dollar, barely changed from the previous session’s level of 82.0725. Although the rupee initially reached a near two-week high of 81.94, it was unable to maintain its momentum throughout the day. Nevertheless, the currency is on track to achieve its best week in over four months.

Analysts have noted that the rupee’s stability is noteworthy, considering the trend of the dollar index. Despite the dollar’s weakness, the Indian rupee has remained relatively stable. Market participants attribute this resilience to several factors, including expectations that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will intervene to prevent excessive appreciation of the rupee above the 81.80 level. Additionally, importer hedging and speculators remaining on the sidelines have contributed to the rupee’s steady performance. If the rupee fails to convincingly appreciate beyond the 81.80 mark, market observers predict a rangebound market in the near term.

Rupee falters, expectations of RBI intervention shape the currency’s performance

Meanwhile, Asian shares and currencies have risen, while the dollar index has slipped below 100, reaching a fresh 15-month low. These movements come as market participants anticipate a pause in the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. Recent U.S. producer price data has further reinforced expectations that the Fed is nearing the end of its rate hiking cycle. Investors have already priced in a 25 basis points hike at the upcoming July 25-26 meeting, but beyond that, the central bank is widely expected to take a break.

The positive sentiment in global markets, coupled with the anticipated pause in Fed rate hikes, has impacted the performance of the Indian rupee. Despite the retreat from its opening rally, the rupee remains resilient, reflecting stability amid global market fluctuations. However, the Indian currency’s movement is not isolated from external factors. The S&P 500 Index reached a 15-month high on Thursday, and U.S. yields continue to decline based on the expected rate outlook. The two-year U.S. yield has dropped 50 basis points from last week’s high, while the 10-year yield is down nearly 32 basis points from the year-to-date highs recorded on July 7.

The decline in U.S. yields has had an impact on the dollar-rupee far forward premiums, which have continued to inch higher. The one-year implied yield rose to an over two-week high of 1.76% during Friday’s trading session. These developments highlight the interconnectedness of global markets and the influence they have on currency movements.

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Looking ahead, market participants will closely monitor the actions of the Reserve Bank of India and its potential interventions to manage the rupee’s appreciation. The stability of the rupee amidst global market uncertainties is commendable, but the currency remains susceptible to external factors. As the Federal Reserve’s rate outlook evolves and global market dynamics continue to shift, the Indian rupee’s performance will undoubtedly be impacted.

The Indian economy has been experiencing various challenges, including a surge in COVID-19 cases and its impact on the nation’s healthcare system and economic activities. The central bank’s intervention becomes crucial in maintaining stability and managing any potential downside risks. The RBI has been actively participating in the foreign exchange market to mitigate excessive volatility and ensure orderly conditions. Its interventions aim to strike a balance between supporting the economy’s growth prospects and managing inflationary pressures.

India’s foreign exchange reserves have also played a role in bolstering the rupee’s stability. The country’s reserves have witnessed significant growth, reaching record levels in recent months. The ample reserves provide a buffer against external shocks and enhance market confidence in the rupee’s stability. These reserves not only enable the RBI to intervene when necessary but also signal the country’s strong position in managing its external obligations.

The rupee’s stability has implications for various sectors within the Indian economy. A steady currency benefits import-dependent industries by keeping input costs relatively stable. It supports exporters by maintaining their competitiveness in international markets. Additionally, a stable rupee contributes to investor confidence, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio flows into the country. The inflow of foreign capital can stimulate economic growth and contribute to the nation’s development.

However, the rupee’s performance is not solely driven by domestic factors. Global market dynamics, including changes in the dollar’s strength, geopolitical developments, and commodity prices, can significantly influence the currency’s trajectory. Monitoring these external factors becomes crucial in understanding the broader context in which the Indian rupee operates.


In conclusion, the Indian rupee’s inability to sustain its opening rally amidst corporate dollar demand highlights the influence of external factors on its performance. The currency’s stability in the face of global market fluctuations reflects market expectations of RBI intervention and the cautious approach of market participants. As global market dynamics and the Federal Reserve’s rate outlook continue to evolve, the rupee’s performance will be shaped by a combination of domestic policies, external factors, and investor sentiment. The Reserve Bank of India’s proactive measures and the country’s robust foreign exchange reserves play a vital role in managing the rupee’s stability and supporting the Indian economy in these uncertain times.

Click here to read our latest article on the Tumbling US Dollar

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