The Indian rupee was trading higher against the U.S. currency, after a surge in jobless claims in the world's largest economy sent the dollar index to its worst day in over four years. The rupee was quoted at 74.60 in early trades compared with 75.15 at 5.00 pm yesterday. The unit rose to 74.55 earlier today, the highest since Mar. 18.
The dollar index posted its worst day since December 2015 yesterday, after data showed U.S. jobless claims surged in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits rose to over 3.28 million last week, up from the previous peak of around 700,000 printed during the 2008 crisis.
The dollar index is set to log its worst weekly decline in over a decade amid the jobs data and Fed's unlimited quantitative easing pledge.
The dollar index was further pressured yesterday by a further rebound in U.S. equities. U.S. stocks jumped yesterday despite cases in the U.S. growing to about 84,000 from 20,000 a week back.
Globally too, cases have surged to 530,000, almost double from a week ago. The number of infections rose to 724 in India, with 17 deaths.
Equities have rebounded the last few days after the Federal Reserve announced emergency steps to infuse liquidity, and on the back of a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus by Washington to offset the impact of the coronavirus. Group of 20 nations have also pledged $5 trillion to fight the spread of the pandemic.
Rupee traders will eye Reserve Bank of India head Shaktikanta Das’ press conference at 10:00 a.m. local time today. The RBI is expected to address issues pertaining to monetary easing, liquidity and regulatory forbearance for loans after the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the credit cycle.
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