Picture used for illustrative purpose.
The Indian rupee hit a record low against the US dollar on Thursday as the relentless surge in global crude oil prices raised concerns about a sustained rise in imported inflation, while choppy domestic shares also hurt.
The partially convertible rupee was trading at 77.79/80 per dollar after touching a record low of 77.81. The previous low of 77.7975 was touched on May 17.
“There is possibly some bit of dollar selling by the central bank that is there, but they can only prevent day to day volatility, the direction for the rupee is clearly lower,” a senior trader at a foreign bank said.
The central bank has time and again reiterated that it only intervenes to arrest extreme volatility in the currency but does not target any specific levels. Traders said the rupee could eventually weaken towards 79/dollar levels by end of fiscal year 2022/23 but the fall could be accelerated by firm crude oil prices.
Oil prices held firm near 13-week highs on Thursday after China reported stronger-than-expected exports in May, although new Shanghai lockdown restrictions capped gains.
India imports nearly 85 per cent of its oil requirements and high crude tends to push up domestic inflation while also widening the country’s trade and current account deficits.
Indian shares extended losses to a fifth session as investors worried that aggressive policy tightening by central banks could stifle global economic growth.
RBI raised its key repo rate by 50 basis points on Wednesday.