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Rising crude oil prices to subdue rupee

Rising crude oil prices along with foreign fund outflows are likely to weaken the Indian rupee against the US dollar in the near term.

Besides, the Reserve Bank of India’s upcoming monetary policy review will also have a bearing on the rupee’s movement.

Lately, the global commodity prices have firmed up sharply in January 2022, with crude oil prices hovering close to $91 per barrel.

Consequently, the rupee is expected to trade towards 75.50 to a dollar in the near term.

Last week, the rupee closed at 74.70 to a US dollar.

“Crude oil is finally above six-year’s level… It’s a lead indicator of global demand and also alarm for rupee at the same time,” said Sajal Gupta, Head, Forex and Rates, at Edelweiss Securities.

“Expect the rupee to be weak in the coming week. FPI outflows are also at a high level putting pressure on rupee.”

Foreign institutions have sold equities worth $4.75 billion as well.

“Higher bond yields post union budget pronouncements are unlikely to attract much capital in next few weeks,” said Devarsh Vakil, Deputy Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

“We believe USDINR to trade in the range of 74 to 74.50 ahead of RBI policy meeting, and over the medieum term Rupee seems to be headed towards 75 mark.”

Recent rally in crude oil prices could make the RBI rethink the accommodative stance in next week’s policy meeting, scheduled on February 9, 2022.

The monetary policy review is slated for February 7-9.

It is widely expected that the RBI’s MPC will maintain status quo in the key lending rates.

At present, the MPC of the central bank has maintained the repo rate, or short-term lending rate, for commercial banks at 4 per cent.

“Now that global crude prices are trading above $90 mark, it will be important to see how much the RBI raises concern over rising inflation. Volatility for the rupee is expected to remain elevated ahead of the important event,” said Gaurang Somaiya, Forex & Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

“We expect the momentum for the USDINR would continue to remain positive and it could quote in the range of 74.50 and 75.50.”

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