Indian rupee caught between rising Fed rate hike odds and support at 82.80/dollar

By Sethuraman N R and Nimesh Vora

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Indian rupee is expected to open little changed on Friday amid increasing probability of another Federal Reserve rate hike next month and the USD/INR’s failure to move above 82.80, traders said.

Non-deliverable forwards indicate the rupee will open barely changed from the previous session’s level of 82.74 per U.S. dollar.

The USD/INR pair has over the last few sessions repeatedly struggled to convincingly move above the 82.80-82.90 level despite the dollar’s rally against its major peers and Asian currencies.

Expectations that the Reserve Bank of India will not allow the rupee to weaken past 83 alongside investment and portfolio inflows have ensured that the rupee remains largely rangebound in the wake of the upbeat dollar. The dollar index overnight climbed to 104.30, the highest since mid-March.

While USD/INR is sitting on the higher side of the range, it seems that “there is hardly a 10%-15% probability of the pair crossing the 82.80 to 83.25 zone”, said Amit Pabari, managing director of CR Forex.

The odds of a Fed rate hike at the June meeting climbed to over 40% and the two-year U.S. yield soared on more signs that the U.S. economy is holding up well.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected, while the second estimate of U.S. GDP revealed that the economy increased at a 1.3% annualized rate in the first quarter against expectations of 1.1%.

Meanwhile, on the U.S. debt ceiling, President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy are closing in on a deal, a U.S. official told Reuters.

The focus on Friday will be on the April U.S. core PCE data, helping investors assess the inflation outlook. Economists expect a 0.3% month-on-month increase.


** One-month non-deliverable rupee forward at 82.8; onshore one-month forward premium at 9 paise

** USD/INR NSE May futures settled on Thursday at 82.75

** Dollar index at 104.14

** Brent crude futures down 0.4% at $75.9 per barrel

** Ten-year U.S. note yield at 3.82%

** SGX Nifty nearest-month futures down 0.3% at 18,419

** As per NSDL data, foreign investors bought a net $181.1mln worth of Indian shares on May. 24

** NSDL data shows foreign investors bought a net $34.5mln worth of Indian bonds on May. 24

(Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Sonia Cheema)