Rupee ends weaker against US dollar, closes at 64.03

The rupee on Friday weakened over one week low against the US dollar after India’s economic growth slowed down unexpectedly to three year low. 

The rupee ended at 64.03 a dollar — a level last seen on 24 August, down 0.19% from its Thursday’s close of 63.91. The rupee opened at 63.95 a dollar and touched a high and a low of 63.88 and 64.05 respectively. 

Bond yields reacted after the data and fell to one month low as analyst expects that the fall in gross domestic product may give further room to Reserve Bank of India to cut rates. 

“The surprise slowdown in India’s GDP growth should be a wake-up call to the central bank. With structural reforms raising potential, weak growth means that the output gap is widening at an accelerating pace — increasing disinflationary pressures and adding to the urgency for further policy rate cuts”, said BI Economic Research. 

The 10-year bond yield fell to 6.483% — a level last seen on 9 August, compared to its previous close of 6.525%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions. 

India’s economic growth unexpectedly slowed to 5.7% in the June quarter, the slowest pace in three years, underlining the disruption caused by the uncertainty related to the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) even as the Indian economy is struggling to recover from a shock demonetization. 

A survey of economists saw gross domestic product (GDP) growth picking up by 6.6% in the June quarter. GDP grew 6.1% in the preceding three months. 

The benchmark Sensex index rose 0.51% or 161.74 points to closed at 31,892.23. So far this year, it has risen over 19%. 

So far this year, the rupee has gained 6.2%, while foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought $7.09 billion and $19.86 billion in equity and debt markets, respectively. 

Asian currencies were trading higher. South Korean won was up 0.46%, China offshore 0.25%, Taiwan dollar 0.22%, China renminbi 0.17% and Philippines peso 0.11%. However, Malaysian ringgit was down 0.1%. 

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 92.634, down 0.04% from its previous close of 92.668. 

US non-farm payrolls data for August is due Friday, along with unemployment and earnings numbers, and the Markit US PMI. US employment probably increased by 180,000 in August, in line with this year’s monthly average, while the jobless rate held at 4.3%, economists forecast.