Global Investor

Standing up to a strong dollar

Arvind Jayaram | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 12, 2014

The rupee hasn't lost any ground in the first nine months of 2014



Despite its worst quarterly drop in a year in the September quarter, the Indian rupee has managed to maintain its valuation against the US dollar even as other currencies have tumbled. Thanks to a narrowing trade deficit and measures to trim the current account deficit, besides healthy GDP growth, the rupee remains one of the best performing currencies against the greenback in 2014, though it has gained just 0.07 per cent in the January-September period.

Trumping developed world

In doing so, the rupee has trumped the currencies of the G-10 nations in terms of performance against the dollar, with the British pound down 2.08 per cent, the euro crashing 8.09 per cent and the Japanese yen tumbling 3.96 per cent during the year thus far.

The Australian dollar fared slightly better and was down just 1.91 per cent against the US dollar, but the Canadian dollar was trading 5.13 per cent lower against the American currency in spot markets.

The rupee’s performance was nowhere near that of the Somali shilling, which has been the best bet of 2014, thanks to a 42.99 per cent appreciation against the US dollar.

Even the Pakistani rupee put on a better show than the Indian rupee, gaining 2.51 per cent against the greenback since the start of the year. These small gains were sufficient to position it as the fourth best currency bet of 2014.

Other currencies that trumped the rupee include the Malawian Kwacha, Paraguay’s Guarani, Gualemala’s Quetzal and the Thai Baht.

Beaten down

In the worst performing currency segment, it comes as no surprise that the Ukranian Hyrvnia has seen the biggest slide of 2014 due to the geopolitical tension in the wake of the annexation of Crimea by Russia-backed forces.

The currency has lost 36.37 per cent during the year.

But the Russian ruble was not spared either, with debilitating sanctions imposed by the US and its European allies against the country causing the currency to fall by 17 per cent. The Romanian Leu was down 6.79 per cent, the Bulgarian Lev has slid by 8.09 per cent and the Polish Zloty by 8.67 per cent.

Meanwhile, in Latin America, Argentina saw the peso decline by an alarming 22.64 per cent after defaulting on its sovereign debt obligations.

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