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Rupee Poised to Test Record Low Amidst Rising Oil Prices and US Yields

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Mumbai, September 28 – The Indian rupee is facing the possibility of opening near its record low levels on Thursday due to the recent surge in crude oil prices and rising U.S. treasury yields, both of which are expected to negatively impact the local currency.

Non-deliverable forwards suggest that the rupee may open close to its record low against the U.S. dollar, compared to its previous close at 83.22. In October 2022, the rupee had reached its lowest level on record, hitting 83.29.

The rupee came close to testing its record lows on Wednesday, but potential intervention from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) helped prevent a further decline. Market observers will be closely watching whether the RBI provides dollars in non-deliverable forwards ahead of the spot markets opening, according to a foreign exchange trader at a private bank. “Expect 83.35 to be the next resistance level for USD/INR.”

Brent crude oil futures saw a 0.8% increase to $97.32 during Asian trading, marking a roughly 12% rise in September alone. Meanwhile, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield reached a fresh 16-year high overnight before slightly receding to 4.61% in Asian markets. “(A move to) 5% is looking more probable by the day,” ING Bank stated in a note, referring to the potential for the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield to continue its upward trajectory.

The dollar index also climbed to a nearly 10-month high of 106.84 overnight and remained close to those levels. Asian currencies, including the Malaysian ringgit, experienced declines.

“Intraday lows cannot be ruled out, even if the RBI intervenes,” cautioned Dilip Parmar, a foreign exchange research analyst at HDFC Securities. Pressure on the rupee has also been exacerbated by outflows related to equity investments, as foreign investors are on the verge of ending a six-month buying streak, having sold $1.51 billion worth of equities in September thus far.

Investors will also be closely monitoring whether FTSE Russell decides to include India in its emerging markets government bond index, with the decision expected on September 28.

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