Rupee crashes 53 paise against US dollar, hits new all-time low at 70.64 vs USD: 9 things to note

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Updated: Aug 29, 2018 6:13 PM

The Indian rupee crashed more than 50 paise against the US dollar to hit an all-time low at 70.64 vs USD at the interbank foreign exchange market on Wednesday, 29 August 2018.

The rupee has fallen nearly 11% against the US dollar, being the worst performing currency in Asia. The Indian rupee hit an all-time low of 70.64 vs US dollar on 29 August 2018, Wednesday. (Image: Reuters)

The Indian rupee crashed more than 50 paise against the US dollar to hit an all-time low at 70.64 vs USD at the interbank foreign exchange market on Wednesday, 29 August 2018. The rupee value vs US dollar fell sharply on Wednesday after the domestic currency opened near its previous all-time low in the morning session. The steep plunge in the Indian rupee against US dollar was seen after the Reserve Bank of Indian released its Annual Report 2017-2018 between 10 am to 11 am today. In the last hour of foreign exchange trading, the rupee collapsed to a fresh all-time low of 70.64, down 53 paise against US dollar, the Bloomberg data showed.

However, the rupee recovered a bit and finally ended at a closing record low of 70.59, down 48 paise apiece US dollar on Wednesday, 29 August 2018. This rupee registered its biggest single-day drop on Wednesday since 13 August when it collapsed 110 paise or 1.6% against USD.

The domestic currency (rupee) has been the worst-performing Asian currency in the current year 2018 and is down 10.87% against US dollar. The rupee value has been crumbling against the US dollar since the beginning of February, the month in which the massive sell-off took place across global equity markets. The rupee value was further hammered in April to June after the crude oil prices strengthened in the international markets with Brent crude oil price crossing $80 per barrel for the first time in nearly last 4 years.

Indian rupee at record low vs US dollar: 9 things to note

RBI Annual Report 2017-2018

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its Annual Report 2017-2018 pointed out several things such as upside risks in the headline inflation over the rest of the year, the ‘heavy’ impact of changing demand-supply dynamics in the international crude oil markets on India’s trade deficit and current account deficit being largely financed by FDI inflows.

Turkish lira decline

The Turkish financial markets witnessed another round of dejection on Wednesday with their domestic currency lira plummetting 2% against the US dollar. According to a Reuters report, the latest losses in the Turkish lira were seen after the global credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service warned the banking sector and the comments of Turkey’s Finance Minister Berat Albayrak who said that he didn’t see a big risk to the global economy or financial system.

The Turkish lira has fallen about 70% against US dollar so far in this year to 6.4537 from a level of 3.79 per unit US dollar as on 1 January 2018. Moody’s has downgraded as many as 20 financial institutions, saying that a further shift in investor sentiment could curtail wholesale funding for a sector that has borrowed heavily overseas while Turkey’s economic confidence index has dropped to 9% month-on-month in August to its lowest since March 2009.

FBIL reference rate

The Financial Benchmarks India Pvt Ltd (FBIL) on Wednesday, 29 August 2018, fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 70.5046 against the US dollar, 33 paise higher than Tuesday’s reference rate of 70.1687. Notably, the rupee was trading below 70.5 against US dollar before the release of the reference rate by FBIL.

Indian stock markets sell-off

The last hour sell-off in the Indian stock markets battered the sentiments further with BSE Sensex tumbling 174 points and NSE Nifty closing below 11,700 level after two days of striking rally. The benchmark Sensex closed down 173.70 points or 0.45% at 38,722.93 whereas the wider share indicator Nifty 50 settled at 11,691.90, down 46.60 points or 0.40%. Shares of heavyweight companies Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and Infosys wiped out most of the gains on Wednesday.

Also Read | How Indian stock markets reacted today

Strengthening US dollar

The US dollar strengthened against a basket of currencies in early session on Wednesday, after falling to a four-week low yesterday overnight. The relief over the US-Mexico trade deal was faded by concerns that the China-US trade war will drag on for some time. The dollar index traded 0.22% higher at 94.83.

GDP data caution

The sentiments across India’s stock and forex market seemed to have turned cautious ahead of the first quarter (April-June) GDP data release which is due on Friday, 31 August 2018. “Focus will now shift to India’s GDP and fiscal deficit data due to be released on Friday. Near-term range for the rupee is 70.20 and 70.75,” a PTI report said citing Rushabh Maru, Research Analyst, Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers.

Asian currencies plunge

According to a Reuters report, most of the Asian currencies weakened on Wednesday as investors booked profits on gains made earlier this week, but investors remain cautious as the Sino-US trade dispute looks set to dominate headlines in the week ahead with the focus shifting towards the 5 September deadline for public comment on US President Donald Trump’s increased tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Costlier crude

Crude oil prices surged on Wednesday following the news of a fall in Iranian crude supplies after the US sanctions deterred buyers while the gains were limited on the evidence of a rise in US crude inventories. The Brent crude oil was up 45 cents at $76.40 per barrel whereas US WTI crude was 50 cents higher at $69.03 a barrel. Iran’s crude oil and condensate exports in August are set to drop below 70 million barrels for the first time since April 2017, well ahead of the 4 November start date for the second round of US economic sanctions, Reuters reported citing preliminary trade flows data on Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Month-end dollar buying

According to a Reuters report, the rupee touched record low on Wednesday tracking the weakness in Asian currencies and on strong month-end US dollar demand in the domestic markets.

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