Dubai: The Indian rupee is inching higher against the dirham/dollar – opening at Rs21.67 on Thursday (March 17) – and continuing a trend that has been evident since the start of this week. Major currencies such as the euro and the pound are also firming against the dollar, even with the US move to raise interest rates by 0.25 per cent and with more to come this year.
“The rupee had gone as low as Rs20.95/20.96 to the dirham just this month, but there is some clawing its way back going on now,” said a treasury analyst at LuLu Exchange. “As for Indian expats in the UAE, I don’t think they will be particularly affected – most of them had made full use of the Rs20.80/20.90 levels earlier in the month when it comes to sending remittances.”
It sure has been quite a turnaround for the rupee these five days. The rupee had already gone past the previous all-time low of Rs20.88 to the dirham (from April 20, 2020) and was starting at pushing past 21 at one point.
Other FX watchers say a better reading of the US rate hike and its impact on the rupee and other currencies will only be known by next week. “The markets had plenty of advance notice about the Fed’s plans and that’s why the currency and stocks are all steady or showing some firming up,” said an analyst.
Sensex extends gains
India’s key stock index is up by more 1,000 points on Thursday morning, with investors taking positives from the oil price decline. Other Asian markets too are in the green, with the Nikkei at 867 points higher and the Hang Seng by 1,163 points.