Rupee ends at 79.98/$, FM cites gains vs pound, euro & yen – Times of India


Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (File photo)

MUMBAI: The rupee traded within a whisker of the psychologically important level of 80 versus the US dollar in the interbank foreign exchange market on Monday. The government has downplayed the 7% decline in the value of the currency vis-a-vis the greenback, pointing out that the rupee has gained against the British pound, the euro and the Japanese yen in 2022.
In the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee slipped for the sixth successive session to close at 79.98, down 10 paise from its previous close of 79.88 on Friday. In intraday trade, the rupee had slipped to a low of 79.985. It came under pressure after Brent crude prices firmed up again to $104 a barrel on fears that energy supplies from Russia to Europe would get disrupted.
The rupee weakened even as the dollar lost some ground in international markets after signs that rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve may be less than markets’ worst fears. In post-market hours, the rupee was at 80 in bilateral trades, dealers said. “In market trades, the 80 barrier is still intact,” said the head of a treasury at private bank.
Dealers said that the central bank’s defence through sale of dollars was keeping the currency below 80 levels and there was no technical resistance for the currency at 80. The currency could slip to below 80 this week if the central bank stepped down from its sales, dealers said.
“The depreciation of a currency is likely to enhance the export competitiveness, which in turn impacts the economy positively. The depreciation also impacts the imports by making them more costly,” said finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in response to a question in Parliament. She highlighted the measures taken by the RBI to boost inflows and stem volatility.
“The outflow of foreign portfolio capital is a major reason for the depreciation of the Indian rupee. Foreign portfolio investors have withdrawn about $14 billion from Indian equity markets in financial year 2022-23 so far,” Sitharaman said.


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