The Indian Rupee gained 0.4% this week

The Indian Rupee gained 0.4% this week

30 May 2020 11:22 AM

Weekly Synopsis

 Indian Rupee

The Indian Rupee gained 0.4% this week, the best weekly rise since the week ended May 1, against a 0.5% fall last week. Throughout the week, Rupee boosted by dollar inflows and a broad decline in the dollar index, unit closed this week at 75.61 against the previous week close of 75.95.

India's foreign exchange reserves rose for the fourth straight week to a record high of $490.04 billion as of the week ended May 22 from $487.04 billion at the end of the prior week, the Reserve Bank of India said. The rise was mainly due to an increase in foreign currency assets that rose to $451.71 billion from $448.67 billion in the previous week.

Global Market

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down around 1.4% this week and closed at 98.31 against the previous week close of 99.77. For the week, index traded between the range of 97.94 to 99.97.

U.S. merchandise trade in April slumped to the lowest level in a decade as the coronavirus pandemic curtailed demand and disrupted supply lines. Goods exports plummeted 25.2% in April from the prior month, the biggest decline in records back to 1989, to $95.4 billion. Imports decreased 14.3%, also the largest yet, to $165 billion. Combined, the value of U.S. exports and imports dropped to $260.4 billion, the lowest since April 2010.

The number of Americans seeking jobless benefits fell for an eighth straight week last week, likely as some people returned to work, but claims remained at astonishingly high levels. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 323,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2.123 million for the week ended May 23, the Labor Department said.

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly rose in April, but the gains are likely temporary as the coronavirus crisis ravages the economy, unleashing record unemployment. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new home sales increased 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 623,000 units last month. Still, the increase left the bulk of March's 13.7% plunge intact. March's sales pace was revised down to 619,000 units from the previously reported 627,000 units.

Britain's retailers suffered another sharp slide in sales in May but there were some signs that the sector was past the worst of the hit from the coronavirus lockdown which the government is gradually easing, an industry survey showed on Tuesday. Its monthly gauge of retail sales rose to -50 from in May, still a historically weak reading but up from a joint record low of -55 in April, as expected in a poll of economists.

German consumer morale improved slightly heading into June after hitting its lowest level on record in the previous month, a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting that Europe's largest economy is slowly recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. The GfK consumer sentiment indicator, based on a survey of some 2,000 Germans, remained in negative territory, but rose to -18.9 points from an upwardly revised -23.1 in the previous month.

Profits at China's industrial firms fell at a slower pace in April, helped by improvements in automobiles and electronics, but the damage wrought by the coronavirus crisis is set to keep the economy and businesses under pressure for most of this year. Earnings fell 4.3% year-on-year to 478.1 billion yuan ($67 billion) last month, after plunging 34.9% in March, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday.

Japan's jobless rate rose and the availability of jobs fell in April. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6% in April, up from 2.5% in March. The median forecast was 2.7%. The jobs-to-applicants ratio fell to 1.32 in April from 1.39 in March, marking the lowest reading since March 2016.

Japanese factory output dropped in April by the most since the 2011 tsunami and retail sales slid sharply as the coronavirus froze demand at home and abroad and the recession deepened. Industrial production fell 9.1% from March, dropping for a third month led by falls in auto and steel output, the trade ministry reported Friday. Economists forecast a 5.7% drop. Retail sales fell 9.6% from a month earlier amid shutdowns that kept shoppers home. The projection was for a 6.9% decline.

Local Market

Indian shares rose for the third straight session on Friday and finished the week sharply higher, thanks to a broad-based rally driven by institutional buyers. Nifty was up around 6% this week and closed at 9580.30 against the previous week close of 9039.25.

India’s economy grew 3.1% from a year earlier in January-March, the slowest pace of expansion in at least eight years that dragged the full year growth to 4.2%.