Rupee posts tenth monthly decline on weak Asian peers, oil price worries

A customer hands Indian currency notes to an attendant at a fuel station in Mumbai

By Nimesh Vora

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The Indian rupee chalked up its tenth straight monthly fall after slipping versus the dollar on Monday, on concerns over oil prices and in line with losses in most other Asian currencies.

The rupee last traded at 82.78 per U.S. dollar on Monday, compared with 82.47 in the previous session.

The currency depreciated 1.8% in October. The last time it had a positive month against the dollar was in December 2021.

Rupee past 10 month

This is rupee's longest monthly losing run since 1985. The string of monthly losses has put the rupee on course for its worst annual performance in almost a decade.

"Fundamental issues such as high current account deficit and persistent inflation remain impediments (for the rupee)," Srinivas Puni, managing director at QuantArt Market Solutions, said.

Among the rupee's Asian peers, the offshore Chinese yuan and the Indonesian rupiah dropped about 2.4% each in October, while the Malaysian ringgit fell 2% and the Thai baht 0.6%. The Korean won outperformed, inching up.

The prospect of more U.S. Federal Reserve rate hikes alongside worries over the Chinese economic outlook impacted the demand for Asian currencies.

Expectations of the Fed slowing its pace of rate hikes have increased in recent days, though the U.S. central bank is poised to deliver yet another super-sized 75 basis point rate hike this week.

Meanwhile, Brent crude rose more than 8% this month, set to halt a four-month losing run, after OPEC+ key agreed to production cuts.

The rupee's losses this month would have been deeper had it not been for the Reserve Bank of India's intervention. The central bank sold dollars to boost the rupee, likely via the forward market, traders said.

RBI's forward dollar sales and higher Treasury yields pushed rupee forward premiums lower. The 1-year USD/INR implied forward rate dropped to near 2.40% from 2.81% in September.

(Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Dhanya Thoppil)