India's rupee trips closer to 21 against the dirham. Will RBI step in before it goes past 21? Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: The Indian rupee has dropped to its lowest this month, at Rs20.87 to the dirham, ahead of the US Federal Reserve meeting early next month, where the next interest rate hike will be decided. For a third straight month, UAE’s Indian expats will be seeing favourable exchange rates around the time of their next remittance.

“The rush should start today because there will be many organisations crediting the April salaries ahead of the Eid holidays,” said Antony Jos, Executive Director at Joyalukkas Exchange. “Today’s remittance rate is around 20.81-20.84, and currency houses and banks can expect some heavy remittance volumes with NRIs wanting to cash in.”

Today’s (April 25) rupee level to the dirham is the lowest to date this month, and part of a wider story of almost all emerging market currencies dropping ahead of the Fed meeting on May 3-4. “The dollar’s rising in anticipation of the 0.50 per cent hike and which would raise the interest rate to 1 per cent,” said Jos. “Dollar’s firming up is already showing up in the Dollar Index, which is now at 101.64 – and that explains why the Indian rupee and other emerging market currencies are sliding.”

In April, the rupee's highest point was around the 20.40 mark. The rupee had been under constant duress since March, with worries about imported inflation, the Russia-Ukraine situation, etc. (The recent decision to pay off India’s oil imports from Russia in roubles has been of some help.)