India’s currency falls to new low as central bank leaves interest rates alone

India’s plummeting currency hit a new low Friday, signaling that the country’s fast-growing economy could be slowing down.

The rupee fell in value again Friday, sparking concerns that one of the quickest-growing economies in the world is now slowing down. File Photo by Sanjeev Gupta/EPA
The rupee fell in value again Friday, sparking concerns that one of the quickest-growing economies in the world is now slowing down. File Photo by Sanjeev Gupta/EPA

The rupee for the first time fell to a rate of 74-per-U.S. dollar, down 15 percent on the year, while the Reserve Bank of India again left interest rates alone.
The rupee has become the third worst-performing currency in Asia.

There were expectations that hiking interest rates could slow rapid inflation in the country. Rising crude oil prices have wreaked havoc on India’s economy because it’s one of the world’s largest importers.

“A large number of international factors … have had a significant impact in markets across the world, and we’ve also been impacted because of that,” Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, said.

India’s benchmark Sensex index lost 900 points Friday and has fallen 8 percent in the past month.

The Reserve Bank of India did change its stance from neutral to calibrated tightening, which means it has two options: status quo or rate hike.

Analysts said the rising oil prices are hampering growth and raising interest rates may be inevitable.

ByNicholas Sakelaris