Rupee likely to sidestep rally in Asia FX fuelled by US yields

By Nimesh Vora

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Indian rupee is expected to open little changed on Tuesday, unable to take advantage of the broad up move in other Asian peers in the wake of a fall in U.S. Treasury yields.

Non-deliverable forwards indicate the rupee will open mostly unchanged from 83.3675 on Friday.

The Indian FX and money markets were shut on Monday.

The Korean won climbed 0.8%, with other Asian currencies up between 0.1% to 0.3%, and the dollar index dipped to 103.08, its lowest level in nearly three months.

The dollar index is down more than 3% in November. The rupee is just shy of its lifetime low of 83.42.

The rupee “has not participated at all in this drawdown” on the dollar and “there is no reason to think it will today, or for that matter, this week”, a forex trader at a bank said.

A lack of hedging interest from exporters, slowdown in portfolio inflows, and persistent interest from importers to hedge their dollar liabilities are reasons for the rupee’s underperformance, according to market participants.

Asian currencies rose on Tuesday, helped by U.S. Treasury yields resuming their fall on the back of weak data. The 10-year U.S. yield dropped nearly ten basis points on Monday amid a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. October home sales. The September figures were revised lower.

The weaker numbers were attributed to the run-up in the long bond yield during these months, DBS Research said.

There was more disappointing U.S. data on Monday. The November Dallas Fed manufacturing index fell 0.7 to -19.9, with new orders “particularly weak”, according to ANZ.

The focus this week will be on the U.S. October core PCE data on Thursday and the ISM manufacturing print on the following day.

KEY INDICATORS: ** One-month non-deliverable rupee forward at 83.41; onshore one-month forward premium at 5.5 paise ** Dollar index down at 103.08 ** Brent crude futures up 0.3% at $80.3 per barrel ** Ten-year U.S. note yield at 4.3980%, ** As per NSDL data, foreign investors bought a net $172mln worth of Indian shares on Nov. 23

** NSDL data shows foreign investors sold a net $204.5mln worth of Indian bonds on Nov. 23

(Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Sonia Cheema)