Worst for rupee seems to be over; likely range 67-68/USD by Dec: HDFC Bank

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NEW DELHI: The rupee has suffered significant losses this year but the worst seems to be over and the domestic currency is expected to be in the range of 67-68 against the US dollar by December, according to an economist with HDFC Bank.
The rupee ended below the 70-mark against the US dollar for the first time ever on August 16 and has lost 10 per cent so far this year amid global uncertainties and concerns over inflation.
“Barring few episodes that could still come in due to extreme volatility in the markets, definitely the worst for the INR seems to be over. We think that by September end the fair value of the rupee would be around 68-69 and that is where it should go and settle,” Sakshi Gupta, India Economist, HDFC Bank told PTI.
Beyond September, the US dollar rally is likely to fade out and that would be rupee positive. The dollar rally is likely to fade out as the US mid-term elections come into play in November and also as the twin deficit problem in the US resurfaces and the market starts focusing on that, she said.
She further noted that some bouts of volatility are likely as seen in recent times with respect to Turkey or other emerging markets and escalation of risks related to the trade war between US and China, but even during those periods the Reserve Bank is definitely going to try and stabilise the currency.
“By this fiscal year-end, the fair value of rupee is expected to be around 67-68. But going into next year with election risks coming in domestically…usually, we see a lot of volatility in the currency markets just before the elections.
“In the fourth quarter of this fiscal (March end) we could see some amount of volatility in rupee owing to political risk,” Gupta said. For the calendar year the likely range for the rupee is 67-68, while for March end it is 68-68.5, she added.
The rupee is currently hovering around 70 per US dollar.