The rupee struck a new intra-day low on Thursday, breaching the 77.5/$ barrier, as the US dollar strengthened, before the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) intervened to aid minimise its losses.
The rupee finished the day at 77.43 per dollar, down 18 paise or 0.24 percent from its previous close of 77.24 per dollar.
“As the dollar strengthened, the rupee dropped to a new all-time low today (Thursday).” However, losses were limited when the RBI intervened to reduce currency volatility. “The dollar surged after US inflation climbed in April,” said Gaurang Somaiya, Motilal Oswal Financial Services’ Forex and Bullion Analyst.
On May 5, the rupee touched an all-time closing low of 77.47/$.
Following the global uncertainty induced by the prolonged Russia-Ukraine conflict, investors pulled out of riskier assets, putting pressure on the rupee. So far in FY23, the currency has declined 2.1 percent versus the dollar, with a further 4% depreciation expected in 2022.
To stem the rupee’s decline, the central bank has increased its intervention in the foreign exchange markets — spot, futures, and off-shore. As a result, since September 2021, the foreign exchange reserves have decreased by $45 billion.
Total FX reserves have dropped below $600 billion, and the market anticipates reserves to drop further more before rising. For the week ending April 29, total foreign exchange reserves were $597.7 billion.
The RBI stated its net forward assets were $65.79 billion at the end of March 2022, according to its half-yearly report on foreign exchange reserve management released on Thursday.
According to the report on foreign reserve management, the RBI has boosted its gold reserves by over 100 metric tonnes in the last two years.
The RBI owned 760.42 tonnes of gold at the end of March 2022, up from 653.01 tonnes at the same time in 2020 and 695.31 metric tonnes in 2021.