India’s rupee hit fresh lows against the dollar on Wednesday as emerging market currencies continue to be sold off.
The under-pressure currency in Asia’s third-largest economy slid to 70.50 to the greenback in late morning trade, a record low. The rupee has been steadily falling throughout 2018 after starting the year at 63.67.
Earlier this month it crossed 70 for the first time as India was buffeted by the turbulence of the Turkish financial crisis. The rupee was not alone, with the currencies of other emerging economies heavily dependent on dollar-dominated foreign capital like Brazil, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil also slipping in August. The rupee slump is widening India’s current account deficit, when the value of imports exceeds that of exports. India is a massive net importer of oil, securing more than two-thirds of its needs from abroad.
High oil prices have been squeezing the rupee, making it less appealing to investors, analysts say. India’s central bank has raised interest rates this year in part to help increase the value of the rupee.