Indian rupee hits record low as crude firms, other Asian currencies rise

Indian rupee hits record low as crude firms, other Asian currencies rise
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(June 28): The Indian rupee touched a record low on Tuesday due to inflation worries from higher crude prices, and the Indonesian rupiah fell on a slide in palm oil futures, although other Asian currencies strengthened after the US dollar weakened.

The Indian currency and equities were pressured by worries that a rise in crude prices will exacerbate already high inflation. The country is a major importer of the commodity.

The rupee dropped as much as 0.6% to 78.775 versus the US dollar, surpassing a previous all-time low of 78.39 hit last week. Its key equities index, the Nifty 50, also fell 0.4%.

In Indonesia, the rupiah slipped 0.3%, while stocks lost 0.5%.

"Divergence in Fed-(Bank Indonesia) policy stances, as well as recent decline in (crude palm oil) prices weighing on trade balances, could be supportive of USD-IDR (in the) near term," analysts at Maybank said.

Palm oil prices in Indonesia, the world's top exporter of the vegetable oil, have been inching lower on expectations of higher production and fears of a recession.

Other Asian currencies, meanwhile, logged modest gains due to a weaker greenback. The US currency is set for a third straight day of losses. Upbeat economic cues from the United States also drove some buying.

"The market was nervous at the earlier part of last week, but risk markets started to stabilise. That led to a bit of a dollar pullback," Bank of Singapore FX strategist Moh Siong Sim said.

The Thai baht rose as much as 0.7% to hit a near two-week high, while the Malaysian ringgit rose 0.2%.

Gains in the baht were fuelled by Thailand's finance minister saying the economy will grow about 3.5% this year, helped by foreign tourist arrivals.

Thai stocks rose 0.5%.

China's yuan also recovered earlier losses and settled about 0.1% higher, after the country cut quarantine time for international visitors.

In the Philippines, the Bureau of the Treasury rejected all the bids it got for an offer of T-bonds maturing in 2029, because of higher rates offered.

Meanwhile, local media reported the Supreme Court rejected a petition to disqualify President-elect Ferdinand Marcos, who is set to be officially sworn-in on Thursday.

The peso wobbled at around 54.86 to 54.60 to the US dollar, but settled around 54.70, a 0.1% gain on the day.  

Maybank FX strategist Yanxi Tan attributed the move to technical indicators suggesting the peso may be oversold rather than the Supreme Court decision.

Stocks across Asia traded mixed, with markets in the Philippines and South Korea rising 1.7% and 0.8%, respectively, while those in Singapore lost 0.1%.


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