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Last Updated Sunday May 27 2018 04:21 PM IST

Indian rupee bogged down by costly oil, food

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Inflation Annual retail inflation accelerated in April to 4.58 per cent, after easing for three straight months, mainly driven by faster increases in food and fuel prices.

The Indian rupee inched down to its lowest in over three months, following data that showed annual retail and wholesale inflation accelerated in April, with many economists expecting a more hawkish central bank at June's policy meeting.

Annual retail inflation accelerated in April to 4.58 per cent, after easing for three straight months, mainly driven by faster increases in food and fuel prices.

The biggest risk Asia's third-largest economy faces is rising crude oil prices. India meets 80 per cent of its oil needs from imports.

An increase in oil prices of $10 a barrel could quicken inflation by about 1 percentage point and reduce economic growth by 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points, a senior finance ministry official told Reuters.

Asian currencies weaken

Asian currencies weakened on Tuesday with the South Korean won and Indonesian rupiah falling the most, as easing trade tensions helped shore up the dollar and push up U.S. bond yields.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies edged up 0.2 per cent to 92.792 at 0502 GMT.

The U.S. 10-year bond yield had inched higher on Monday, as optimism over President Donald Trump's pledge to aid China's ZTE Corp helped assuage U.S.-China trade frictions.

"It appears that momentum for earnest trade negotiations has been unlocked and we think this could be a positive for global market sentiment and the U.S. dollar for now," said Mizuho Bank in a note.

Indonesia's rupiah weakened to 14,030 a dollar. Its loss for the day increased slightly after Southeast Asia's largest economy reported that in April it had its biggest trade deficit in four years.

The data showed a trade deficit of $1.62 billion in April which conflicted with most estimates, including a Reuters poll, and was a departure from a $1.12 billion surplus in March.

The rupiah remains perched around two-and-a-half-year lows.

Thailand's baht fell 0.4 per cent. The central bank will leave interest rates at a near record low on Wednesday, a Reuters poll showed.

The Philippine peso fell 0.4 per cent to 52.677 to the dollar, its lowest level in nearly 12 years.

The South Korean won declined 0.7 per cent, ahead of revised April trade data later in the day.

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