Coins and banknotes that are used for change are seen in a bamboo basket at a greengrocer in Tokyo yesterday. Most Japanese companies will not increase hiring in 2014 and more than one in six will take additional cost-cutting steps as a planned sales tax hike next year worsens economic conditions.
DOHA: The Indian rupee firmed up a bit in the local foreign exchange market yesterday with one riyal fetching about Rs17.25, up from a record of low of over Rs17.50 a day earlier.
Foreign exchange operators said for those remitting large funds home the rate offered by bigger exchange companies here went up to Rs17.29 a riyal, which remains pegged to the US dollar at QR3.64.
The rupee’s slight appreciation was the result of India’s central bank (Reserve Bank of India) taking measures to check the currency’s continuing fall. Market sources say that with foreign capital flying out of India due to an improving investment environment in the US and huge dollar debts to be paid off, it might be hard for New Delhi to control the rupee’s slide over the medium and long terms.
TOKYO: The dollar’s surge against the Indian rupee took a breather yesterday after hitting record highs for most of the week, although upbeat manufacturing data from around the world helped the greenback against the yen.
However, traders remain on edge — particularly in emerging markets —about the US Federal Reserve’s stimulus programme after minutes from the bank’s July meeting failed to clarify its future. The Indian rupee, which tumbled to another record low of 65.56 to the dollar on Thursday, was changing hands at 64.45 in yesterday afternoon trade.
India’s finance minister and central bank governor both tried to calm investors Thursday by reiterating that New Delhi does not plan to introduce capital controls, a fear that had weighed on the unit earlier this week.
The Indonesian rupiah inched down to 10,963 to the dollar from 10,958.
The Thai baht firmed to 31.94 to the dollar against 32.12, with the greenback’s drop below the 32.00 psychological barrier implying a Thai baht recovery off its lows, as stocks in Asia mount a relief rally led by Japan, traders said.
Expectations of an end to the stimulus have seen foreigners in recent months repatriate some of the vast sums that have poured into emerging economies, in turn hitting currencies and equities.
National Australia Bank said in a note early yesterday that while there was still pressure on units such as the rupee and rupiah “there has not been the severe stress in emerging markets that we saw mid-week”.
It added: “Better data out of Europe and to some extent the US has also helped support developed world equity markets.”
The dollar climbed to 99.03 yen in Tokyo from 98.68 yen in New York on Thursday afternoon, giving a boost to exporters and helping the Nikkei index on the Tokyo stock market close the afternoon up 2.21 percent.
The euro bought $1.3338 and 132.05 yen compared with $1.3354 and 131.80 yen.
Against other Asian currencies the dollar fell to 1,116.43 South Korean won from 1,122.7 won, to 44.26 Philippine pesos from 44.14 pesos, and to Sg$1.2805 from Sg$1.2840 while slipping to Tw$29.95 from Tw$29.98. The Australian dollar was at 90.05 US cents against 90.01 cents. The Chinese yuan fetched 16.13 yen against 16.04 yen.
Sentiment was boosted by a slew of manufacturing data that point to a pick-up in the global economy. On Thursday a preliminary purchasing managers index (PMI) of manufacturing activity in the eurozone hit a 26-month high, while a reading in the United States also showed improvement. Earlier in the day HSBC said its PMI for China had also shown growth for the first time in four months.