Indian Rupee: Plunges On Global Trade War Concerns

The Indian rupee plunged by 20 paise against the dollar in early trades on Monday, 16 April 2018 on global trade war concerns, dip in Indias exports in March and a sharp drop in domestic equities. Geopolitical tensions over Syria and trade war concerns weighed on the domestic unit. But, a weak dollar against major global currencies capped some losses. Indias exports dipped by 0.66 per cent to USD 29.11 billion in March, even as they increased by 9.78 per cent for the full 2017-18 fiscal.

The domestic currency opened at Rs 65.34 against the dollar and fell further to a low of 65.42 so far during the day. In the spot currency market, the Indian unit was last seen trading at 65.3875. The rupee closed higher by 6 paise at 65.20 in the previous session on Friday on the back of positive macroeconomic data and firm local equities. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 399.59 crore on net basis on Friday, provisional data showed.

Domestic benchmark indices cut sharp initial losses triggered by negative Asian stocks. At 9:24 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 81.61 points or 0.24% at 34,111.04. The Nifty 50 index was down 17.75 points or 0.17% at 10,462.85. The Sensex regained the psychological 34,000 level in volatile trade soon after sliding below that level in opening trade. Shares of IT major Infosys dropped in reaction to its Q4 March 2018 results declared after market hours on Friday, 13 April 2018.

Overseas, Most Asian stocks were trading lower as investors assess airstrikes against Syria over the weekend and focus on the start of earnings season in the US as well as speeches by Federal Reserve officials. US stocks fell on Friday, 13 April 2018 as weakness in shares of banks and finance firms added to the political and trade tensions weighing on the market.

US President Donald Trump declared mission accomplished via Twitter on Saturday, a day after the US, France and the UK launched military strikes in response to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assads suspected chemical attack on civilians.

Meanwhile, the dollar traded lower across the board on Monday late morning in Asia amid mounting geopolitical tensions and U.S.-China trade talks. The Asian session opened with headlines concerning U.S.-led strikes at Syria over the weekend. Besides geopolitics, the U.S.-China trade spat also remains a focus this week as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are holding meetings on Monday. The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies last stood at 89.44 at 11:11PM ET (03:11 GMT), down 0.08%.