Rupee worst performer among major currencies in last one month

Tags: Commodities
Amid re-ignited concerns over the macro-economic scenario in India and abroad, the rupee has again slipped below the 55-level against dollar, the largest fall among its major peers globally in the past 30 days.

As against the US dollar, the rupee has sharply fallen from 52.88 levels one month ago to 55.16 on Friday, marking a drop of over 4.2 per cent.

This is the largest fall vis-a-vis the US dollar in the past one month among 25 major currencies across Asia, Americas, Europe, the West Asia and Africa.

The rupee had closed at its life-time low of 57.12 against the US dollar on June 22. In February, rupee had strengthened to as high as Rs 49.

Within Asia, the steep depreciation of rupee is followed by the Japanese yen, which has dropped around 2.9 per cent in the past one month. Among other Asian currencies, Singapore dollar has slipped 0.66 per cent, Malaysia’s ringgit by 0.6 per cent and Indonesia’s rupiah by 0.42 per cent.

On the other hand, China’s yuan has gained 0.45 per cent against the US dollar, while Australia’s dollar has also appreciated by 0.37 per cent in the same period.

Recent economic data like exports, imports, balance of payments and deficit has been bad. There also have been intermittent withdrawals by the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in the stock market.

“The recent worries over the US economy have also not helped the rupee’s cause. A combination of these factors has dragged down our currency,” Dhanlaxmi Bank executive vice-president (treasury) Srinivasa Raghavan said.

Analysts also feel there has been an increase in speculative activity in the NDF (non-deliverable forward) forex segment.

“NDF market is an offshore market to trade and hedge in currencies like the rupee (which are not fully convertible) and many institutions are betting on a further fall,” said the head of treasury at a nationalised bank.

Among the major currencies in Europe, the West Asia and Africa, Israeli new sheqel has depreciated by around 4 per cent against the US dollar, followed by euro’s 2.78 per cent drop, Russian ruble’s 2.77 per cent fall and Swiss Franc’s 2.4 per cent loss.

The Kuwaiti dinar has been one of the lesser hit currencies in this zone, falling around 0.52 per cent.

The South African rand has, however, lost 1.88 per cent value against the US dollar. The losses registered by the Moroccan Dirham are steeper at 2.27 per cent.

Across major American currencies, the Canadian dollar, Mexican peso, Brazil real, Argentine peso and Chilean peso have fallen by 1.5-2.5 per cent against the US dollar.

Forex experts are divided over the rupee's future with some seeing respite in the short-term. “The rupee could face the resistance at 55.25 levels,” India Forex Advisors’ founder and CEO Abhishek Goenka said.

Others feel things could get worse for the rupee.

“For currency, our view is that it is into impulse of falling trend and it will reverse the direction if it breaks the level of 48. Till then, we may expect range bound activity between 51 and 56. If it breaks 58, then on the higher side it may jump to 61 levels,” Kotak Securities’ technical research head Shrikant Chouhan said.

A falling rupee makes crude oil and fertilisers, which India imports in large quantities, costlier and consequently hit the overall economic health of the country.

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