Indian rupee depreciated 0.02% this week

Indian rupee depreciated 0.02% this week

13 Mar 2020 07:08 PM

Weekly Synopsis

 Indian Rupee

The Indian rupee fell for the fourth straight week against the dollar as global risk aversion intensified amid concerns that the coronavirus may push economies into a global recession. However, suspected intervention by the Reserve Bank of India capped a significant depreciation in the rupee throughout the week,The rupee was quoted at 73.90 to the dollar at 5:00 p.m.on friday against the previous week close of 73.72. The unit had fallen to a record low of 74.48 on friday. The unit fell 0.02% this week, after declining 2.2% last week.

India's foreign exchange reserves rose to $487.24 billion as of March 6, compared with $481.54 billion a week earlier, the Reserve Bank of India said on Friday. Changes in foreign currency assets, expressed in dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of other currencies held in its reserves.

India's services exports fell to $18.99 billion in January from $20 billion in December, data from the central bank showed.Services imports also fell to $12 billion in January from $12.56 billion in December, the Reserve Bank of India said.

Global Market

The dollar drifted higher against developed-market peers but gave up gains against emerging currencies. The Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, moved between the range of 94.63 to 98.33 this week and quoted at 97.68 at 5:00 pm against the previous week close of 96.10.

Oil prices were set for their biggest weekly slide since the 2008 financial crisis despite a 5% bounce on Friday, as the coronavirus outbreak threatened demand and crude producers promised more supply. Brent was last at $35.18 against the previous week close of $45.27.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week as employers continued to hold on to their workers, Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ended March 7, the Labor Department said. Jobless claims are the most timely labor market indicator. They have declined for two straight weeks.

U.S. producer prices fell by the most in five years in February, The Labor Department said on Thursday its producer price index for final demand dropped 0.6% last month, the biggest decline since January 2015, after surging 0.5% in January.

U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly rose in February, The Labor Department said its consumer price index increased 0.1% last month, matching January's gain, as rising food and accommodation costs offset cheaper gasoline.

The euro zone economy grew at a snail's pace in the fourth quarter, as investments and consumer and government spending just offset the impact of a sharp rise in imports. Eurostat said that gross domestic product (GDP) in the 19 countries sharing the single currency rose by just 0.1 percent in the Oct-Dec period, in line with its flash estimate published last month.

The U.K. economy failed to grow in January, adding to the case for the Bank of England’s emergency rate cut Wednesday. Gross domestic product was unchanged from December, when it grew 0.3%, the Office for National Statistics said. A rise of 0.2% had been forecast. The economy also stagnated over the latest three months.

More than one in four people in Britain put off going shopping or visiting other busy places last month because of the spread of coronavirus, Barclaycard said its measure of consumer spending rose by 2.2% in February compared with the same month last year, slowing from January's 3.9% increase.

China's producer prices in February fell 0.4% from a year earlier, official data showed on Tuesday, swinging back into deflationary territory as the coronavirus outbreak hit business activity. Consumer prices rose 5.2% from a year earlier versus a 5.4% increase in January and a 5.2% rise tipped by economists in the poll.

Local Market

Indian stocks recovered strongly from an initial plunge to close about 4% higher on Friday, as investors picked up beaten-down stocks amid rising hopes of coordinated stimulus measures to contain the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Still, the NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN logged their worst week since 2009 as the holiday-shortened week was dominated by fears that the rapidly spreading virus could trigger a global recession. Nifty closed this week at 9,955.20 while  S&P BSE Sensex closed at 34,103.

India’s federal cabinet has approved the central bank’s revival plan for beleaguered private lender Yes Bank, the finance minister said. State Bank of India will invest up to 49% equity in Yes Bank and the Reserve Bank of India is working on bringing in other investors, NirmalaSitharaman told reporters in New Delhi. However, there was no discussion on investment by Life Insurance Corporation in friday's cabinet meeting.