USD/INR trades with mild gains, eyes on Fed Chair Powell’s second testimony

July 10, 2024 6:58 am

  • The Indian Rupee edges lower in Wednesday’s early European session. 
  • The renewed US Dollar demand might weigh on the local currency, while sustained Indian foreign inflows could underpin the INR. 
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s second testimony will be in the spotlight on Wednesday. 

The Indian Rupee (INR) trades on a weaker note on Wednesday amid the modest rebound of the US Dollar (USD). The persistent Greenback demand from local importers might continue to limit the local currency’s gains. However, sustained Indian foreign inflows, a positive economic outlook, and the fastest macroeconomic growth among large economies might all contribute to the INR’s upside.

Traders will focus on the second semi-annual testimony by Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday. The attention will shift to the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation data on Thursday. The US CPI is projected to show an increase of 3.1% YoY in June, while core inflation is projected to remain steady at 3.4% YoY. Any dovish comments from the Fed’s Powell or signs of softer inflation in the US might exert some selling pressure on the Greenback. 

Daily Digest Market Movers: Indian Rupee weakens despite India’s optimistic outlook

  • The Reserve Bank of India said on Monday that the country added 46.7 million jobs in the fiscal year ended March, the highest since 1981-1982. 
  • India’s central bank added $5.6 billion in Gold reserves in the June quarter, with foreign currency assets increasing by $1.9 billion and the value of gold in reserves rising by $3.8 billion. As of June 28, India’s foreign currency reserves were at $652 billion.
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in testimony Tuesday to Congress that the case for interest rate cuts is becoming stronger as the most recent inflation data showed some modest further progress. 
  • Powell added that “more good data” could open the door to interest rate cuts. He noted that holding interest rates too high for too long could jeopardize economic growth. 
  • Powell’s remarks have helped push up the chance of a September rate cut by the Fed to above 75%, up from 71% before the US employment data last Friday, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool.

Technical analysis: USD/INR remains in consolidative mode in the near term

The Indian Rupee trades softer on the day. The bullish bias of the USD/INR pair continues as the pair holds above the key 100-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) on the daily chart. 

In the shorter term, further consolidation looks favorable as the pair has remained stuck within a familiar trading range since March 21. Additionally, the 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) showed neutral momentum, hovering around the 50-midline.

Sustained upside momentum could lift USD/INR to 83.65, the upper boundary of the trading range. A break above this level could attract some buying interest to the all-time high of 83.75 en route to the 84.00 psychological barrier. 

On the flip side, the 100-day EMA at 83.36 acts as an initial support level for the pair. Extended losses will expose the 83.00 round mark, followed by 82.82, a low of January 12.

US Dollar price today

The table below shows the percentage change of US Dollar (USD) against listed major currencies today. US Dollar was the strongest against the New Zealand Dollar.

  USD EUR GBP CAD AUD JPY NZD CHF
USD   -0.03% -0.03% 0.01% -0.01% 0.12% 0.53% -0.06%
EUR 0.03%   0.01% 0.03% 0.01% 0.16% 0.55% 0.01%
GBP 0.02% -0.01%   0.02% 0.01% 0.15% 0.55% -0.02%
CAD -0.01% -0.03% -0.02%   -0.02% 0.12% 0.53% -0.04%
AUD 0.01% -0.03% 0.00% 0.02%   0.14% 0.55% -0.03%
JPY -0.13% -0.16% -0.14% -0.12% -0.10%   0.41% -0.17%
NZD -0.54% -0.56% -0.55% -0.53% -0.55% -0.40%   -0.58%
CHF 0.04% 0.02% 0.02% 0.05% 0.03% 0.17% 0.58%  

The heat map shows percentage changes of major currencies against each other. The base currency is picked from the left column, while the quote currency is picked from the top row. For example, if you pick the Euro from the left column and move along the horizontal line to the Japanese Yen, the percentage change displayed in the box will represent EUR (base)/JPY (quote).

RBI FAQs

The role of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its own words, is ‘..to maintain price stability while keeping in mind the objective of growth.” This involves maintaining the inflation rate at a stable 4% level primarily using the tool of interest rates. The RBI also maintains the exchange rate at a level that will not cause excess volatility and problems for exporters and importers, since India’s economy is heavily reliant on foreign trade, especially Oil.

The RBI formally meets at six bi-monthly meetings a year to discuss its monetary policy and, if necessary, adjust interest rates. When inflation is too high (above its 4% target), the RBI will normally raise interest rates to deter borrowing and spending, which can support the Rupee (INR). If inflation falls too far below target, the RBI might cut rates to encourage more lending, which can be negative for INR.

Due to the importance of trade to the economy, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) actively intervenes in FX markets to maintain the exchange rate within a limited range. It does this to ensure Indian importers and exporters are not exposed to unnecessary currency risk during periods of FX volatility. The RBI buys and sells Rupees in the spot market at key levels, and uses derivatives to hedge its positions.

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