Rupee Opens Flat; US Yields, Trade Developments Eyed

Rupee Opens Flat; US Yields, Trade Developments Eyed

19 Aug 2019 09:08 AM

USD/INR – The Indian rupee opened little changed against the dollar amid improved risk appetite and potential foreign fund outflows from local assets. The rupee opened at 71.17 compared with its previous close of 71.15. While U.S. equities ending last week on a positive note was “a good thing,” uneasiness around the global economy remains. Earlier last week, U.S. equities had recorded one of their worst selloffs this year after yields on the 10-year Treasury bond briefly moved below that of the 2-year note. An inverted yield is considered a reliable indicator of an economic downturn, possibly a recession. Amid worries over the economic outlook, traders have become more confident that the Federal Reserve will cut rates once again next month. Investors will get insight on the Fed’s thinking on interest rates this week.  Minutes of the Fed’s July meeting are due on Wednesday and Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak on Friday at the annual central banking symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

EUR/USD – EUR/USD set an 11-day low as buyers remain scare and factors continue to suggest further losses are in store. Friday's U.S. housing starts report displayed weakness but certainly no collapse. Single-family starts increased by 1.3% while single-family permits grew by 1.8%. A combination of the single-family data and yesterday's upbeat August NAHB index indicate the U.S. housing market could be a positive contributor to economic growth. As a result U.S. Treasury yields rallied. Meanwhile German Bund yields continued to slide. Last week’s comments from the ECB's Rehn along with ongoing U.S.-Sino trade tensions, softening euro zone economic data and the Honk Kong protests help pressure euro zone yields lower and increase the chances of ECB stimulus. Those factors have investors shunning the euro as the single currency continues to be sold against the dollar. EUR/USD was last trading at 1.1091.

GBP/USD – Sterling was trading little changed at $1.2151. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Westminster parliament cannot stop Brexit and a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one. In his first trip abroad as leader, Johnson is due to meet his European counterparts ahead of a G7 summit on Aug. 24-26 in Biarritz, France. He will say that Britain is leaving the European Union on Oct. 31, with or without a deal, and that the British parliament cannot block that, according to a Downing Street source. The United Kingdom is heading towards a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Johnson has repeatedly vowed to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the Brexit divorce.

USD/JPY – Safe-haven currency yen was under pressure on Monday as expectations policymakers would unleash new stimulus eased immediate concerns about a slowing global economy. Such hopes found support from the Chinese central bank's interest rate reforms over the weekend, seen lowering corporate borrowing costs, and reports of new fiscal stimulus in Germany. However, investor optimism is likely to be capped ahead of a U.S. decision due later on Monday on whether to continue to allow China's Huawei Technologies to buy supplies from American companies. Against the yen, the dollar was little changed at 106.35 yen, near a one-week high of 106.98 yen. The yen, which tends to be bought as a safe-haven during times of economic uncertainty, fell slightly on Monday versus the antipodean currencies.

Currency Range for today

Currency Pair Lower Upper
USD/INR 70.85 71.35
EUR/INR 78.50 79.30
GBP/INR 86.00 86.80
JPY/INR 0.6660 0.6720

Important data releases today

Time Ccy Event Forecast Previous
2:30 PM EUR CPI (YoY) (Jul) 1.1% 1.1%