Rupee sinks to a lifetime low

The Indian rupee fell to a record low of nearly 77 against the US dollar as the deepening conflict between Russia and Ukraine pushed crude oil prices to 14-year highs, prompting safe-haven inflows into the dollar. The rupee closed Monday’s trade at 76.93, 76 paise weaker than its previous close. “The parabolic rise in crude oil prices to a multi-year high and rising commodity prices are fueling inflationary risks, which are key headwinds for the rupee-dollar exchange rate,” said Sugandha Sachdeva, Vice President – Commodity and Currency Research, Religare Broking Ltd. “We are in an environment of geopolitical uncertainty and Russian oil is effectively blocked amid existing economic sanctions against Russia. The oil supply is insufficient to meet the nearly 99 million barrels per day demand. This is likely to act as a catalyst to stoke further inflationary pressures, with major implications for economic growth, Ms Sachdeva noted. Citing India’s sizeable buffer of foreign exchange reserves as a buffer, she said the RBI is also likely to intervene in markets to curb excessive volatility. “However, the overall trend of the Indian rupee is skewed to the downside and a convincing close below the 77 level would pave the way for further downside towards the 77.50 level in the short-term while we expect the local currency to cross the mark of 79 will test from a medium-term perspective,” she added.

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