Rupee forwards weaker despite intervention; seen lower on imports

Friday, 30 January 2015 01:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Rupee forwards ended weaker on Thursday due to importer dollar demand despite moral suasion by the Central Bank, while exporters awaited direction from a supplementary Budget, dealers said. Currency dealers said the rupee may depreciate because of an expected increase in consumption after a raft of tax reductions on key commodities in the Budget. Fears of depreciation kept exporters away from the market, resulting in the currency’s fall and leading the central bank to cap four-day forwards at 133.00 and one-week forwards at 133.50, dealers said. One-month forwards ended at 134.00/10 per dollar compared with Wednesday’s close of 133.90/80. One-week forwards ended at 133.50/60 per dollar, unchanged from Wednesday’s close of 133.50/60, while four-day also ended unchanged at 133.00/133.40 per dollar. “The currency will be under pressure with the increase of disposable income from the Budget,” said a dealer. The new Government on Thursday imposed taxes on cash-rich firms to pay for populist policies and tax reduction on key commodities in a bid to woo voters as it faces a parliamentary election in the second quarter. Dealers said exporters were not selling as they expected further depreciation in the currency in the short term, with the widening trade balance and in line with global currencies. Spot currency has not been trading, while forwards have been trading with downward pressure, dealers said. The new Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran, told Reuters on Tuesday the current foreign exchange policy does not need “any big changes” and expects the currency to stabilise, ending the depreciation trend that started in August. The market had been expecting a flexible exchange rate with more foreign grants under the new Government as opposed to the controlled exchange rate regime earlier.

Activity in secondary bond markets moderate

    By Wealth Trust Securities Activity in secondary bond markets was seen moderating yesterday as most market participants was seen keeping a close watch on the outcome of the interim budget. A very limited amount of activity was witnessed on the 1 July 2022 maturity within the range of 7.65% to 7.70% as the rest of the yield curved remained inactive. In secondary bill markets, May and November 2015 durations were seen changing hands within the range of 5.78% to 5.82% and 5.94% to 5.96% respectively. In money markets, Central Banks Open Market Operations (OMO) Department was seen mopping up excess liquidity by way of one term repo auction and three auctions for outright sales of Treasury bills. The term repo auction drained an amount of Rs. 15 billion at a weighted average of 5.97% for 77 days, while a further amount of Rs. 15 b was mopped up for seven, 14 and 28 days at weighted averages of 5.50%, 5.67% and 5.72% respectively through the outright sales. Overnight call money and repo rates remained steady to average 5.83% and 5.23% respectively.   Activity in rupee markets dry up Only the one week forward dollar/rupee (USD/LKR) rate was seen actively quoted yesterday to close the day at 133.45/70 as spot, spot next and spot next-next quotes were inactive. The total USD/LKR traded volume for 28 January was $ 88.85 million. Some of the forward USD/LKR rates that prevailed in the market were one month – 133.65; three months – 134.70; and six months – 136.00.