Rupee to contend with slump in oil prices, persistent dollar bids

By Jaspreet Kalra

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Indian rupee is likely to open little changed on Friday amid a further decline in oil prices and persistent dollar buying interest.

Non-deliverable forwards indicate rupee will open at 83.23-83.24, nearly unchanged from the previous session.

Brent crude on Thursday dropped 4.6% to the lowest since July on worries over demand. The benchmark was hovering near $77.50 in Asia hours and is headed for its fourth straight weekly decline.

The rupee’s rally to near 83 earlier this week faced significant resistance.

“This week we have seen more evidence that any sort of dips (on USD/INR) is running into a mountain of bids,” a forex trader at a bank said.

“Based on that, there is little in pushing the pair lower.”

The rupee’s realised and implied volatility is hovering near multi-year lows.

“Net-net, there is no volatility so it (the rupee) will stay in the tight range.” another trader said.

Most Asian currencies inched up, bolstered by a drop in U.S. yields. The 10-year U.S. treasury yield fell 8 basis points on Thursday, and was at 4.43% in Asia hours, near a 2-month low.

U.S. data out on Thursday provided investors reasons to pile into Treasuries. Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 231,000 compared to the 220,000 reading expected by economists polled by Reuters.

Meanwhile, industrial production fell 0.6% month-on-month in October, with manufacturing output down 0.7%.

“Manufacturing output pointed to ongoing struggles in the sector. The lagged effects of monetary tightening are now feeding through, and we expect further moderation across output, labour and inflation in coming months and quarters,” ANZ said in a note.

Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook said on Thursday that U.S. economic risks were two-sided and a ‘soft landing’ was possible.


** One-month non-deliverable rupee forward at 83.27; onshore one-month forward premium at 5 paisa

** Dollar index down at 104.32

** Brent crude futures at $77.6 per barrel

** Ten-year U.S. note yield at 4.43%

** As per NSDL data, foreign investors bought a net $183.3 mln worth of Indian shares on Nov. 15

** NSDL data shows foreign investors bought a net $128.9 mln worth of Indian bonds on Nov. 15

(Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Varun H K)