Indian rupee retreated from 11-month high
The Indian rupee retreated from an 11-month high to fall on Friday as the central bank stepped in to temper gains being sparked by continued expectations of robust foreign inflows and a rally in domestic shares.
The currency still rose 0.4 percent for the week, posting its fourth straight weekly gain and its longest winning streak in 16 months on hopes the Bharatiya Janata Party’s landslide win last week would bring a new government willing to undertake substantial economic reforms.
Earlier in the day, JP Morgan said it expects the rupee to test 57 per dollar in the next three months, calling (Narendra) Modi’s win “a more transformational outcome for India macro than most could have imagined.”
However, the Reserve Bank of India was spotted buying dollars through state-run banks after the rupee hit its session high, traders said, and continued intervention is likely to cap gains in the rupee.
“The central bank would not let the rupee appreciate beyond a certain level and that is holding it back. We will have consistent FII (foreign institutional supply) supply coming and rupee will be held in a range of 58 to 59,” said Ashtosh Raina, head of forex trading, HDFC Bank.
The partially convertible rupee closed at 58.52/53 per dollar, after gaining as high as 58.33 intraday, its strongest against the dollar since June 18. It closed at 58.4675/4775 on Thursday.
Gains were helped after the benchmark BSE share index rose more than 1 percent on Friday to become the best performing equity market in Asia-Pacific for 2014 in dollar terms.
Investors are expected to focus on the introduction of the new government, with Narendra Modi expected to be sworn in on Monday, unveiling his cabinet appointments soon after.
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the one-month contract was at 58.72, while the three-month was at 59.30.