Drying foreign institutional investment inflows on rising COVID-19 cases to weaken Indian rupee

Mumbai:  Drying foreign institutional investment (FII) inflows on the back of rising COVID-19 cases is expected to weaken the Indian rupee further during the upcoming trade week.

Lately, rising COVID-19 cases have heavily dented equity indices and dampened investors' hopes of an early economic recovery.

This was reflected in rupee's trajectory. The currency had made a year high of 72.25 to a greenback on March 25 and an eight month low of 75.30 on last Monday.

"This was despite no big changes in global factors or domestic macros. Some of it can be attributed to liquidity enhancement measures," Sajal Gupta, Head, Forex and Rates at Edelweiss Securities told IANS.

"Expect next week to be volatile amidst rising Corona cases and hopes of early vaccine delivery from Sputnik and others."

Last week, the rupee closed at 74.40 to a dollar.

Rising COVID-19 cases

"The coronavirus-led regional lockdown and rapid increase in cases will continue to weigh on the rupee," said Rahul Gupta, Head of Research- Currency, Emkay Global Financial Services.

"However, a fall in the dollar index will act as a respite. Also, RBI is not letting the rupee depreciate beyond the 75.40 zones. So we expect USDINR spot to trade in between 74-75.50."

The increase in infections has forced many state governments to implement fresh COVID-19 restrictions during last two-three weeks, fasting hopes of an early economic recovery.

On the bright side, it said that vaccinations are gradually beginning to accelerate.

"Next week, we expect that the rupee could again start to weaken as the pace of fund inflows by the FIIs remains slow. At the same time, recent economic numbers released from the US have been better-than-estimates that could strengthen the dollar," said Gaurang Somaiya, Forex & Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services."For the week, the USDINR (Spot) is expected to trade with a positive bias and quote in the range of 74.20 and 75.20."

According to Devarsh Vakil- Deputy Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities: "Spot USDINR has support at 73.7, the 200 days simple moving average, and continues to face resistance beyond 75 mark."

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