The rupee’s resilience in the face economic headwinds has come to an end, with India’s currency losing its year-to-date gains in the space of just one month.
The country’s massive domestic market is now dragging on the rupee as growth at home slows, foreigners pull cash from local equities and the currency increasingly tracks moves in the yuan as the trade war heats up.
“Even though India is directly less vulnerable to US -China tensions, it can’t remain completely insulated to the wider risk aversion,” said Dushyant Padmanabhan, a forex strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore. The economic slowdown and capital outflows don’t bode well for the rupee, he said.
The rupee is set for its worst monthly loss in six years and some analysts warn of more pain to come. JP Morgan Chase & Co. expects it to approach the record low hit last October by year-end, while Nomura forecasts the currency to finish 2019 at 72.5 per dollar. That’s weaker than the median estimate of 71 in a Bloomberg survey.