USA Dollar

Rupee to rely on central bank help to counter surging dollar

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Indian rupee will be counting on the central bank’s assistance on Tuesday to avoid declining to a record low, after robust U.S. manufacturing data pushed the dollar index to its highest level in more than four months.

Non-deliverable forwards indicate rupee will open flat to slightly weaker to the U.S. dollar from 83.40 on Monday. The local currency last Wednesday touched a record low of 83.45, which bankers said prompted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to intervene.

“You would expect the RBI to sell (USD/INR) and the opening price action will reflect that,” a forex trader at a private sector bank said.

“However, with the way dollar and U.S. yields are, dips (on USD/INR) will not amount to much.”

The dollar index rallied in the New York session and inched up further in Asia, after an unexpected expansion in U.S. manufacturing activity prompted investors to dial back odds of a Federal Reserve rate cut at the June meeting. A cut at the May meeting has already been priced out.

The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) U.S. manufacturing PMI increased to 50.3 last month, from 47.8 in February and compared to estimates of 48.3. This was the first time since September 2022 that the PMI crossed 50, a level that separates expansion and contraction.

“The ISM manufacturing index surprised everyone by moving into growth territory,” ING Bank said in a note. The market’s interpretation is that it reduces the chances of meaningful Fed rate cuts, it said.

U.S. Treasury yields surged and the dollar index climbed past 105 for the first time since November. The S&P 500 Index dropped and futures on the gauge were lower in Asia.

KEY INDICATORS: ** One-month non-deliverable rupee forward at 83.46; onshore one-month forward premium at 5.75 paise ** Dollar index up at 105.04 ** Brent crude futures up 0.4% at $87.8 per barrel ** Ten-year U.S. note yield at 4.31% ** As per NSDL data, foreign investors bought a net $485.1 mln worth of Indian shares on March 27

** NSDL data shows foreign investors bought a net $173 mln worth of Indian bonds on March 27

(Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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