India’s rupee plunged to a fresh record low against the US dollar yesterday over concerns that foreign capital could flow back to the US as its economy picks up.
The rupee, Asia’s worst-performing major currency this year, hit a historic low of 61.51 to the US dollar in morning trade, below its previous low of 61.21 on July 8. The rupee has plunged 12.3 percent so far this year.
Indian shares fell 1.03 percent to 18,983.76 points after the currency hit its new low.
“The rupee is on a runaway train and no one knows where it will stop,” Angel Broking associate director Naveen Mathur said. “This is not looking good for the country.”
Dealers said that the Reserve Bank of India — which is believed to have intervened several times in the past few months to help prop up the rupee — was absent from the market yesterday.
Demand for the US dollar has increased amid speculation of a sooner-than-expected scaling back of US stimulus as the world’s largest economy recovers, analysts said.
Slackening domestic growth, weak exports, rising foreign fund outflows and a high current account deficit have battered the rupee.
The depreciating rupee stokes inflation by raising the cost of everything India imports, from crude oil to chemicals and pulses.
Growth is at a decade-low 5 percent and the current account deficit — the broadest measure of trade — for the full fiscal year ended on March is at a record high, mainly due to huge oil and gold imports and weak exports.
India’s rupee woes have raised speculation that it could be headed for a crisis like the one in 1991, which forced an IMF bailout.
In an interview published last week, veteran economist Arvind Panagariya said that India’s foreign exchange reserves were too low.
The Indian central bank has kept interest rates on hold, prioritizing rupee stability over economic growth, and has given no timeline for rolling back its recent liquidity-tightening measures to prop up the currency.
Last month, the central bank announced a range of measures to bolster the rupee, such as raising short-term interest rates and lowering the amount banks can borrow or lend under its daily limit.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and