The Indian rupee fell 12 paise to 81.52 against the US dollar in the early trade on Monday. The local unit is expected to appreciate amid weakness in the dollar and rise in risk appetite in global markets. Market sentiments are expected to improve further on hopes the US Fed will reduce the pace of rate hike in the upcoming meeting following softness in the US inflation print. “US$INR is likely to face rejection near the 20 day EMA at 81.80 and move towards the immediate support at 81.30,” said ICICIdirect. In the previous session, rupee appreciated 8 paise to close at 81.53 (provisional) against the US dollar.
According to analysts, rupee’s recent gains may prove to be fleeting because of pressure from India’s persistent current-account gap and the central bank building up its foreign-exchange reserves. QuantEco Research expects the rupee to slip toward 83.5 per dollar in the next three months, down over 2% from 81.6 on Friday. Nuvama Professional Clients Group sees it dropping past 83. The currency’s appreciation is being limited by the Reserve Bank of India building back up its forex reserves, which hit a two-year low in October. Any dip in the dollar-rupee rate is seen as an opportunity for the RBI to stock up, said Abhilash Koikkara, head of forex at Nuvama.
Rupee may consolidate in 80.80-82.20 range
“Overall, considering expectations from the events globally and domestically, the rupee is likely to consolidate between a broad range of 80.80 to 82.20 levels. That makes 80.80-81.20 a buying zone for importers and between 81.80-82.20 a selling zone for exporters for the near to medium term,” said Amit Pabari, MD, CR Forex Advisors.
Weak markets, rising crude price to put pressure on Rupee
“We expect Rupee to trade with a slight negative bias on weak domestic markets and rising crude oil prices. Month-end Dollar demand from importers and outflows from foreign investors may also put downside pressure on Rupee. However, weak tone in the US Dollar may prevent sharp downside in Rupee. We may take cues from core PCE core deflator, which is the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation, is expected weaker than previous reading. USDINR spot price is expected to trade in a range of Rs 81 to Rs 82.20,” said Anuj Choudhary – Research Analyst at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.
All eyes on Union Budget, US Fed meeting
“Rupee traded in a narrow range and volatility was low as market participants remained cautious of important events that are scheduled this week. On the domestic front, we have the Union Budget and also major central banks will release their policy statement. Data released from the RBI showed FX reserves rose by $1.727 billion to $573.727 billion in the week ending January 20. This is the second consecutive week that reserves have increased. In the preceding week, India’s forex reserves jumped by $10.417 billion to $572 billion. We expect the USDINR(Spot) to trade sideways and quote in the range of 81.10 and 81.60,” said Gaurang Somaiya, Forex & Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.