Monday, 17 December, 2018

Rupee falls below 74 against dollar as RBI keeps repo rate unchanged

RBI Governor Urjit Patel in Mumbai Friday RBI Governor Urjit Patel in Mumbai Friday
Lloyd Bates | 05 October, 2018, 14:14

Indian rupee firmed up marginally near 73.50 on Friday ahead of RBI's policy announcement.

Mr Gandhi took aim at Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, accusing him of remaining silent over the rupee crisis.

"Fuel and gas prices are on fire and markets are scurrying". Consistent dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, following higher crude oil prices, kept the rupee under pressure.

"Till when will the 56-inch chest be on "silent mode".

India now imports more than two-thirds of its oil needs.

"On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) chose to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 per cent", RBI said in a statement on Friday.

He said: "You can not wish away the depreciation in the rupee if you are a current account deficit country".

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DBS economist Radhika Rao also predicted a rate hike.

If the RBI does raise rates, it would be the latest in a series of emerging market central banks that have been pressured into tightening policy in response to a tumbling currency.

India's benchmark 10-year sovereign yield rose to 8.16%.

Anindya Banerjee, deputy vice president, currency derivatives at Kotak Securities, added: "The RBI is ready to keep real rates high because the policy mandate is to anchor inflation".

The greenback also shot to its highest so far this year on the yen and an all-time high against the Indian rupee. The comments raised the possibility of another Bank Indonesian rate hike before mid-December although it has already raised interest rates five times since mid-May.

Oil prices firmed near the highest level in nearly four years on expectations of a tighter market once United States sanctions on Iran are effective next month.

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