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Rupee Gains as Slower Manufacturing Inflation May Spur Inflows

India’s rupee strengthened for a second day on speculation international investors will buy the nation’s assets after the government reported the slowest manufacturing inflation in a year.

Funds based abroad added $278 million to holdings of Indian shares on March 12, exchange data show. Prices of factory goods rose 5.75 percent in February from a year earlier, the slowest pace since January 2011, a commerce ministry report showed today. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will release on March 16 the budget for the year starting April 1.

“There is an expectation of equity inflows,” said Vikas Babu, a currency trader at state-owned Andhra Bank. “With the budget to be announced this week, the rupee will not move much in either direction till we have more clarity.”

The rupee advanced 0.1 percent to 49.9050 per dollar in Mumbai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency will trade between 49.80 to 50.05 until the budget is presented, according to Babu.

One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was unchanged at 9.75 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Three-month onshore forward contracts traded at 50.99 a dollar, compared with 51.00 yesterday, and offshore non-deliverable contracts were at 51.05 from 51.00. Forwards are agreements to buy or sell assets at a set price and date. Non-deliverable contracts are settled in dollars.

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