Rupee plunges to fresh record low of 73.77 against dollar

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On Wednesday the rupee slipped to a low of 73.42 per dollar as crude oil prices breached the 85 US dollars per barrel mark, leading to huge outflows of cash.

The rupee was quoted 55 paise lower at 74.13 against the dollar soon after the RBI announced its monetary policy, reported PTI.

It comes just one day before the Indian central bank is expected to raise rates on Friday to prop-up the rupee.

The meeting assumes significance as the rupee has hit an all-time high of 73.74 against the USA dollar, which would raise India's import bill and widen the trade deficit (difference between imports and exports).

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Anticipation of a rate hike has increased in the past month as oil prices climbed, the rupee's slide accelerated and concerns on liquidity emerged.

"On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) made a decision to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 per cent", RBI said in a statement on Friday.

The RBI belied market expectations of a rate hike, which was expected to arrest the free fall in the rupee's value.

The rupee collapsed to a fresh low of 73.77 against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, as global oil prices continued to rise, deepening concerns about the current account deficit and capital outflows.

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"Fuel and gas prices are on fire and markets are scurrying". "We rule out a hike of 50 basis points, as it may spook the market".

The Sensex tanked 792.17 points or 2.25 per cent to close at a near 6-month low of 34,376.99, while the Nifty slumped 282.80 points or 2.67 per cent to 10,316.45.

"For bond markets, a 25 bps hike accompanied by a hawkish stance could trigger the 10-year bond yield to rise to 8.25 per cent", Rao told Reuters after yields surged on Thursday. "Raising the repo rate will increase the real interest rates and help in attracting fresh foreign inflows which will help in containing the rupee".

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