Lower Oil Prices, Recovery in Asian FX May Help Indian Rupee Inch Up

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Last Updated: February 23, 2023, 08:49 IST

The Indian rupee is likely to open slightly higher against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, tracking an overnight slide in oil prices and a recovery in its Asian peers.

The non-deliverable forward indicate that the rupee will open at 82.80, compared with 82.85 in the previous session.

Brent crude futures declined about 3% on Wednesday, hitting their lowest level in two weeks, on concerns over the demand outlook.

Asian currencies, meanwhile, managed a recovery with the Chinese yuan, the Korean won and the Indonesian rupiah up between 0.1% to 0.2%. The dollar index slipped.

The bit of a positive opening for the rupee will be a relief for traders who are counting on the 82.90-83.00 level to hold, a spot dealer at a private sector bank said.

The rupee had declined to 82.92 to the dollar after the normal OTC trading hours on the interbank order matching system, the dealer pointed out, adding that it is “almost certain” that the rupee will see another quiet session during the day, hovering just above the 83 handle.

Asian currencies will receive help from the slight pullback in U.S. yields. The U.S. Federal Reserve peak rate expectations were largely unchanged at 5.35%.

Investors digested the minutes of the Fed’s Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting in which the central bank had raised rates by a quarter percentage point.

Nearly all Fed policymakers rallied behind a decision to further slow the pace of interest rate hikes at the U.S. central bank’s last policy meeting, but also indicated that curbing unacceptably high inflation would be the “key factor” in how much further rates need to rise.

“The February minutes sent a fairly balanced message, with continued focus on inflation and tightening but with the acknowledgement that risks to the economic outlook are becoming more evenly distributed,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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