The energy-sensitive rupee closed out the 2021-22 financial year with a loss of nearly 4 per cent, tracking a general surge in crude oil prices from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
While the rupee gained to close at 75.67 against the dollar on Thursday, tracking a sharp fall in oil prices, it ended the 2021-22 fiscal year with about a 3.61 per cent loss.
“On Thursday, the rupee rose 14 paise to 75.76 (provisional) against the US dollar, tracking strong Asian rivals and a drop in global crude oil prices. The rupee depreciated by 264 paise, or 3.61 per cent, against the American currency during the fiscal year 2021-22,” said Kshitij Purohit, Lead International and Commodities at CapitalVia Global Research.
India’s currency has had the most significant impact from the Russia-Ukraine war, as it imports 85 per cent of its oil needs.
And the fears of a widening current account deficit were confirmed on Thursday when data showed India’s current-account balance widened to the highest in nearly a decade as the nation’s trade gap ballooned and foreign investments fell.
The broadest measure of the country’s overseas trade and services flows, the current account was in a deficit of $23 billion, or 2.7 per cent of gross domestic product, in the October-December quarter, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday.
The data is for a period that does not reflect the ballooning import bill from the sharp rise in crude oil prices to multi-decade highs due to supply concerns from the escalating Russia-Ukraine war.
Still, the rupee’s appeal was underscored by the statement from the International Monetary Fund that India has received a record number of foreign direct investments during the last few years despite the COVID-19 crisis and has quite a few safeguards in place to mitigate the risks from capital flows.
The RBI’s over $600 billion forex war chest is one of those safeguards.
The latest stock exchange data showed foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net buyers in the capital market on Wednesday as they purchased shares worth ₹ 1,357.47 crores.
The interbank forex market closed on Friday for the annual account closing of banks as the financial year came to an end on March 31.