Rupee Not Far From Hitting 70 To The Dollar
Among emerging market currencies, the rupee was the best performer last year. So far in 2016, it has lost about 3.5%. On Wednesday, the rupee fell as low as 68.67 to the dollar, but it strengthened after what traders said was Reserve Bank of India-directed intervention. Crucially, there is little panic over the rupee’s weakness. Experts said the depreciation isn’t necessarily seen as a bad thing and reflects not just the local economy but the global reality amid shrinking international trade and collapsing commodity prices. Besides, it could also help exports that have fallen for 14 months in a row. Foreign funds have sold a net $1.96 billion of Indian equities and debt this year (until February 16), compared with purchases of $7.21 billion last year, according to data from the depository NSDL. This is also due to rising redemptions in mutual funds elsewhere. India’s macro story is strong, but the micro story is more challenging. Our( Uday Kotak) focus has to be in changing the micro story.” The fall of the currency this time around could take place over a period of time and a sudden plunge as in August 2013 isn’t likely. Investors said macroeconomic fundamentals are much stronger now than they were then. Risk aversion has taken centre stage with lower oil and commodity prices since the beginning of this year,” said MS Gopikrishnan, head of FX, rates and credit trading at Standard Chartered Bank. “There have been outflows from emerging market equity and debt funds, mainly on the back of withdrawals from institutional investors.