Rupee gauges more moderation in Fed rate cut bets; awaits US jobs report

By Jaspreet Kalra

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Indian rupee is likely to open little changed on Friday, with traders keeping an eye on the uptick in U.S. bond yields following better-than-expected jobs data.

Non-deliverable forwards indicate the rupee will open at around 83.24-83.25 against the U.S. dollar, compared with its close of 83.23 in the previous session.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose 9 basis points (bps) to 3.99% on Thursday after data showed U.S. initial jobless claims fell more than expected to 202,000 last week.

Further, data showed that U.S. private employers hired more workers than expected in December.

Expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep rates unchanged at its March policy meeting rose to 34%, from 29% on Jan. 3, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool. Just about a few back this was at less than 10%.

Moreover, investors are pricing in 140 bps of rate cuts this year. At one point in late December, this was at 160 bps.

The two labour data points come ahead of the closely scrutinized U.S. non-farm payrolls data. The report due later in the day is expected to show 170,000 job additions last month.

The rupee may face a bit of pressure amid “a dollar-long bias with the market now expecting a higher print on the non-farm payrolls data,” a foreign exchange trader at a private bank said.

“From the level front, the rupee continues to struggle with the same old range,” said Dilip Parmar, a foreign exchange research analyst at HDFC Securities.


** One-month non-deliverable rupee forward at 83.36; onshore one-month forward premium at 9.50 paise

** Dollar index at 102.34

** Brent crude futures up 0.5% at $78 per barrel

** Ten-year U.S. note yield at 4%

** As per NSDL data, foreign investors sold a net $68.6mln worth of Indian shares on Jan. 3

** NSDL data shows foreign investors bought a net $104.1mln worth of Indian bonds on Jan. 3

(Reporting by Jaspreet Kalra)