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Rising trade deficit to weaken rupee, oil prices add to woes

The expected rise in trade deficit to about $20 billion this month, along with high crude oil prices, will weaken the Indian rupee further during the upcoming week.

The rupee is likely to range near 75 to a US dollar during this period.

India’s trade deficit is rising as the economy recovers and imports swell.

Besides, FIIs have been on a selling spree in India’s equity market. However, the rate of share off-load has significantly come down during the last few sessions.

“With the economy reaching normal levels, imports shall increase and we expect trade deficit to hit $20 billion a month,” Edelweiss Securities’ Head, Forex and Rates, Sajal Gupta, said.

“Crude is also expected to remain strong on back of global demand coming back. This might lead rupee to seesaw between 74.25 to 75.25 with a weaker rupee bias. Taper risk shall keep the rupee from strengthening.”

Motilal Oswal Financial Services’ Forex and Bullion Analyst Gaurang Somaiya said: “Next week, on the domestic front, trade balance will be the only important data to watch for. FIIs who have been net sellers in the secondary market if they continue to do so could further put the rupee under pressure.”

“We expect the momentum for the rupee would continue to remain positive and it could quote in the range of 74.05 and 75.20.”

In November, FIIs have been net sellers to the tune of $600 million.

Last week, the rupee closed at 74.44 to a USD.

“USDINR will find barrier at 74.7 while it is likely to find support near 74 levels this week,” HDFC Securities’ Deputy Head of Retail Research, Devarsh Vakil, said.

“We continue to favour a view that USDINR pair is likely to strengthen towards 73.5 mark over the next few months in the medium term.”

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