* Rupee ends at 61.8150/8250 per dlr vs 61.88/89 on Tuesday
* USD/INR fwd premiums rise after cbank panel recommends
* Benchmark share index closes at record high
By Subhadip Sircar
MUMBAI, Jan 22 The Indian rupee rose slightly on
Wednesday as a central bank report recommending bringing down
consumer inflation to a target of 4 percent is seen benefitting
the currency, despite raising concerns about economic growth in
the near term.
The Reserve Bank of India report recommended making consumer
inflation a priority for monetary policy, with a target of 4
percent although within a plus or minus 2 percent band.
That would likely mean elevated interest rates given
consumer price inflation stands at 9.87 percent,
thus making the rupee higher yielding. Bringing down inflation
would also remove a key constraint in the value of the rupee.
But higher rates in the near term could undermine confidence
about an economy growing below the decade low of 5 percent seen
in the previous fiscal year ended in March 2013, while other
uncertainties such as general elections due by May remain.
"We'd say that the impact of a new policy framework could be
mixed for INR in the near term," said Sacha Tihanyi, a senior
currency strategist at Scotiabank.
"In the interim, the biggest risks to INR remain a negative
confidence shock, perhaps relating to the elections this year,
though less related to U.S. tapering, particularly if rates in
India continue to rise."
India's benchmark index rose 0.4 percent to a record closing
high on Wednesday, gaining for a third consecutive session.
The partially convertible rupee closed at
61.8150/8250 per dollar compared with its Tuesday close of
The cost of holding one-year forward dollars rose to 482.75
basis points from 472.75 bps on Tuesday.
Dealers said the rupee was also supported by some dollar
selling by state-run banks, and after the benchmark BSE index
rose 0.4 percent to a record closing high as drug
Investors will now await the central bank's monetary policy
review as well the Federal Open Market Committee meet next week
for directional cues.
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the
one-month contract was at 62.21 while the three-month was at
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Aussie jumps on inflation rise, eyes on UK data
* Lira, rouble, rand hold above multi-year lows versus dollar
* Asian shares edge up, PBOC cash injection calms China markets
* Foreign institutional investor flows
* For data on currency futures
DIARIES & DATA:
Indian Data Watch European diary
Indian diary US Diary
(Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)