The rupee extended losses against the US dollar on Tuesday, after hitting a 5-month low in the previous session, as investors grew anxious over the US-China trade tension, a sharp devaluation in yuan and uncertainty over Kashmir issue.
The US Treasury Department said on Monday it had determined for the first time since 1994 that China was manipulating its currency, knocking the US dollar sharply lower and sending China’s offshore yuan to a record low, reported Reuters.
Besides the US-China trade-related concerns, Home Minister Amit Shah moving a resolution in the Rajya Sabha that all clauses of Article 370 will not be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir kept the pressure on the Indian rupee.
At 09:10 AM, the rupee was trading at 70.70 a dollar, up 3 paise from its Monday’s close of 70.73. The home currency opened at 70.82 and touched a high and a low of 70.66 and 70.83 a dollar, respectively.
Traders said the near term focus will be on the RBI's monetary policy meeting scheduled to announce outcome on August 7th. The market has already priced in 25 basis point cut in interest rate amid lower core CPI and persistent economic slowdown.
In the currency market, the US dollar fell sharply lower as a year-long US-China trade war escalated and the Chinese offshore yuan fell to an all-time low.
The dollar initially fell versus the yen to 105.51 yen, the lowest since a flash crash in January that roiled currency markets, but then erased to rise 0.34 percent to 106.32.
In commodity markets, Brent crude oil futures plumbed a seven-month low of $59.07 per barrel as the trade war raised concerns about lower demand for commodities. Brent last traded at $59.89.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 2,016 crore on Monday, as per provisional data.
In debt markets, the yields on the 10-year government bonds were down 0.52 percent to 6.36 percent from its previous close of 6.39 percent. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.