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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Khaleej Times – Indian rupee could hit 20 vs UAE dirham again

by Century Financial in Century in News

Khaleej Times – Indian rupee could hit 20 vs...

The Indian rupee fell versus the UAE dirham and the US dollar amidst uncertainty surrounding the Indian currency, and could cross 20 against the dirham again in the coming months due to concerns about funds outflow and economic slowdown concerns, analysts said.

The rupee opened on a weak note and fell 17 paise to 71.71 against the dollar in early trade on Thursday amid foreign fund outflows and cautious opening in domestic equities. Against the UAE dirham, the rupee was trading at 19.52 at 9:40 am (UAE time), according to XE.com.

The rupee fell to a six-month low of 19.54 versus the dirham or 71.71 against the greenback on Tuesday but made a brief recovery on Wednesday and rose 23 paise in the morning to 19.47 versus dirham or 71.48 against the dollar.

It has lost 4.4 percent in the last four months, making it the worst performer in Asia. The rupee hit an all-time low of 20.24 on October 10, 2018. Ahead of elections in India, the rupee had strengthened to 18.66 vs the dirham on April 4.

US bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. forecast that the Indian currency will hit 73/74 vs dollar (19.9/20.2 vs dirham) in the coming months, mainly due to waning internal and external growth.

Jonathan Cavenagh, head of foreign exchange strategy for emerging markets Asia at JPMorgan Chase, sees the rupee being overvalued in real effective exchange terms.

Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer, Century Financial, stated that the Indian rupee woes are compounded by huge money outflows from the Indian stock market, a rise in crude oil prices since last December and weak domestic stock market sentiment owing to budget tax proposals.

"As per a recent statistic, FIIs alone have pulled out Rs24,000 crore. Consecutive four-week rally in USD/INR is unlikely to halt anytime soon as momentum seems to be strongly in favour of the dollar. October 2018 high of 74.08 seen in US dollar caused AED/INR to spike to 20.21 levels. Going ahead, with current negative sentiment in Indian domestic markets, expectations are high for at least foreign portfolio investor (FPI) tax relief from the Indian government. If there is no strong indication on the same, USD/INR is likely to run another leg higher and cause AED/INR to retest its high of 20+ levels," Valecha added.

As per the Real Effective Exchange Rate (Reer), the rupee is overvalued by around 1.25 percent.

He pointed out that rupee is heavily going to be impacted by several factors such as foreign institutional investor flows to Indian capital markets, government stimulus measures, RBI monetary policy trajectory, crude oil prices, and Indian sovereign yields.

The Indian economy, which is the fastest-growing economy in the world, is also facing slowdown concerns as former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday warned that the economic slowdown is "very worrisome" and called for taking a fresh look at how the GDP is calculated.

Krishnan Ramachandran, CEO of Barjeel Geojit Financial Services, said rupee has depreciated close to four percent in the last month, primarily on account of weak macro-economic data, poor corporate performance and on account of fluctuations seen in the emerging/Asian currency markets.

"I do not anticipate the currency to weaken further and at best expect it to depreciate up to 72.25 to the dollar (19.7 vs dirham) in the near term. The prevailing scenario of low oil prices and high gold prices should mitigate any steep fall in the currency in the coming months," he added.

Source: Khaleej Times

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