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Business News/ News / India/  Indian rupee steadies from record low on RBI intervention

The Indian rupee steadied on Tuesday after the currency crossed 80.05 per dollar earlier, hitting a record low for a seventh successive session, as the central bank intervened by selling dollars, dealers said.

A recovery in Indian shares also favored the rupee.

Traders said the central bank sold dollars through state-run banks intermittently through the day, as has been the case in recent weeks.

Like most Asian currencies, the rupee has been falling in recent months as risk aversion has risen on expectations of the U.S. Federal Reserve raising rates aggressively to curb high inflation and prompting investors to flee riskier assets.

The dollar hovered just above a one-week low on falling odds of a full percentage-point Fed rate hike this month.

The partially convertible rupee was trading stronger on the day at 79.89/90 per dollar by 0815 GMT, compared to its close of 79.97 on Monday. It dropped to a record low of 80.05 earlier in the session.

"The rupee is going to weaken further, that is a given. But how soon and how much will depend on the RBI (Reserve Bank of India)," a senior trader at a private bank said.

The RBI has been intervening in both the spot and the forwards markets to slow the rupee's fall, taking several measures in recent weeks to boost foreign fund inflows.

Earlier this month, the RBI said it would allow overseas investors to buy short-term corporate debt and opened up more government securities under the fully accessible route, among various other steps.

It has more recently also allowed importers and exporters to be paid in rupees to help bring down the need for foreign currencies.

But traders said the rupee was being hurt by a severe dollar shortage and expectations that India's current and trade account deficits will continue to widen.

While a recovery in Indian share markets on Tuesday helped stabilise the rupee, traders warned it could be just a temporary respite.

"The rupee depreciation will firm up margins for the IT companies in the near term," said Tanushree Banerjee, co-head, research at Equitymaster.

"Having said that, due to higher employee and travel costs, the margin upside may be limited. Also, over time the dollar contracts could get renegotiated and margins could get normalized."

So far in 2022, foreign investors have made net sales of India shares totalling more than $30 billion, and traders said unless this trend reverses, the downward bias on the rupee would continue.

India's benchmark 10-year bond yield rose, and was trading at 7.46% compared to previous close of 7.44%, tracking a rise in U.S. treasury yields.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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Updated: 19 Jul 2022, 02:33 PM IST
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