India’s rupee completed a weekly loss as government data showed Asia’s third-largest economy expanded at near the slowest pace in three years.
Gross domestic product increased 5.5 percent last quarter, the Central Statistical Office said in a statement today. That compares with 5.3 percent in the previous three months, which was the slowest pace since March 2009. A deteriorating outlook for the economy may curb tax collections and put at risk the government’s goal of cutting its budget deficit, the Reserve Bank of India said on Aug. 23.
“Weak growth, coupled with possible fiscal slippage and inaction from the RBI, is not the combination of settings investors would like to see,” analysts at Credit Agricole CIB, including Hong Kong-based Frances Cheung, wrote in a research report today. “The rupee is to be kept under pressure.”
The rupee declined 0.1 percent this week to 55.5275 per dollar in Mumbai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency rose 0.2 percent today after earlier falling as much as 0.3 percent. It gained 0.2 percent in August. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was unchanged at 9.80 percent, the lowest level since May 3. The gauge has fallen 140 basis points, or 1.4 percentage points, this month.
The currency reversed losses today before a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke at a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he may discuss the possibility of further monetary easing. India’s government plans to narrow its budget shortfall to 5.1 percent of GDP in the year through March 2013, from 5.8 percent in the previous 12 months.
The rupee is vulnerable to concern Europe’s debt crisis will hurt growth in emerging markets, according to Samir Lodha, managing director at QuantArt Market Solutions Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai. Data published today showed euro-area unemployment rose to a record and inflation quickened more than economists forecast.
Three-month onshore rupee forwards traded at 56.66 per dollar, compared with 56.63 yesterday, and offshore non-deliverable contracts were unchanged at 56.59. Forwards are agreements to buy or sell assets at a set price and date. Non-deliverable contracts are settled in dollars.