US dollar hits record high against Indian rupee

Indian senior citizens gather outside a bank as they wait to deposit and exchange 500 and 1000 rupee notes in Amritsar  on November 19, 2016.  Long queues formed outside banks in India since the government's shock decision to withdraw the two largest denomination notes from circulation. India's government asked its citizens to put up with what it called the "short-term inconvenience" when it announced the move to withdraw 85 percent of currency in circulation in a bid to tackle widespread tax evasion. / AFP PHOTO / NARINDER NANU


Mumbai / AFP

The dollar hit a record high against the Indian rupee on Thursday as the US unit rockets against other global currencies on expectations of a rise in US interest rates.
Trump’s victory last week lit a fire under the greenback as investors bet his big-spending tax-cutting plans will fan inflation and force the Federal Reserve to ramp up borrowing costs.
Currencies across the globe have come under the cosh, with emerging markets hit as traders withdraw cash to invest in the United States where they expect to get better returns.
There are also fears about Trump’s rhetoric during the election campaign that he would tear up global trade agreements. Already this week he said he would abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
In early afternoon trading the dollar jumped to 68.8625 rupees, surpassing the previous high of 68.8450 recorded in August 2013, sparking speculation the Indian central bank will step in to provide support.
“Fears that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates is causing the rupee to fall,” Mumbai-based forex analyst Anil Bhansali said. “Trump may bring in protectionist measures. If the US economy performs better and leads to an increase in inflation then demand for a rate hike will increase,” he added. The Indian currency has fallen more than three percent since the Trump’s surprise win over Hillary Clinton on November 8.
The dollar also drove above 50 Philippine pesos for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, while it is well up on the South Korean won, Indonesian rupiah and Malaysian ringgit.

Rupee shake-up
“The rupee had been strong for almost an year and many thought it wouldn’t witness such a major fall but its slide has shocked many traders and created panic in the market,” forex expert Subramaniam Sharma told AFP.
The slump comes three years after the rupee last hit a record low as fears the US government was going to ease back on its stimulus programme were compounded by a high budget deficit and limited foreign exchange reserves.
The latest sell-off coincides with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s shock announcement this month to withdraw from circulation the two largest denomination notes in a bid to tackle corruption and tax evasion.

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