Mar 05 2019

Rupee Opens Little Changed Amid Focus On Trade, Crude Oil

USD/INR – The Indian rupee opened little changed against the dollar, with traders eyeing crude oil prices, domestic equities, and China-U.S. trade news for any triggers. The rupee opened at 70.94 against the dollar at opening compared with its previous close of 70.9050. India’s financial markets were closed yesterday for a local holiday. On U.S. and China trade talks, there is growing optimism among investors that the two countries are on the verge of ending their months-long dispute. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that U.S. and China were in the final stages of completing a trade deal. Beijing had offered to lower tariffs on the American farm, auto, and other products and Washington is considering removing most or all of the tariffs levied on Chinese products, the report said.

EUR/USD – The euro in particular remained wobbly before the ECB meeting on Thursday. The ECB is facing growing pressure to address how to protect the euro zone economy from a protracted slowdown. The euro was little changed at $1.1337 after shedding 0.25% the previous day. EUR/USD traders are losing patience with talk of U.S.-China trade progress and worries over the ECB turning more dovish at this week’s meeting. The ECB is in the mix, with Thursday’s meeting looming and updates to growth and inflation projections. Lowered forecasts are expected but the market could be hedging against deeper downgrades as euro zone growth remains fragile at best. Friday’s U.S. February jobs report could also be prompting traders to sell proactively as well.

GBP/USD– Sterling fell as Prime Minister Theresa May’s top lawyer tried to clinch a Brexit compromise with the European Union in a last-ditch bid to win over rebellious British lawmakers. The pound had gained earlier in the session on signs some pro-Brexit lawmakers were willing to compromise with May, increasing the chances she will get her Brexit deal through parliament next week. The British parliament is set to vote on May’s deal next week, although the vote could be held sooner. If it fails to pass, lawmakers will get to vote on whether to delay Brexit, currently set for March 29. Sterling was last trading 0.3% down at $1.3170. While Brexit negotiations dominate the headlines, concerns about a slowdown in the British economy continue to build.

USD/JPY The dollar was on a defensive mode versus the yen as risk aversion in the equity markets supported the Japanese currency. Wall Street’s major indexes fell on Monday. The dollar was effectively flat at 111.85 yen after dipping 0.15% on Tuesday. The yen often attracts bids in times of market volatility and political tensions. USD/JPY looks to be in consolidation mode for now, likely storing up energy for another push higher. The bias remains upwards with Japanese importers still having more to do before the end of the fiscal year this month and Japanese institutional investors in particular keen to invest in foreign bonds.

Currency Range for today

Currency Pair Lower Upper
USD/INR 70.7071.20
EUR/INR 80.0080.80
GBP/INR 93.0093.80
JPY/INR 0.63100.6370

Important data releases today

Time Ccy Event Forecast Previous
10:30 AM INR Nikkei Services PMI (Feb) 52.5 52.2
3:00 PM GBP Services PMI (Feb) 49.9 50.1
8:30 PM USD ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (Feb) 57.3 56.7
8:30 PM USD New Home Sales (Dec) 600K 657K