ET: Indian central bank's monetary policy committee cited upside risks to inflation arising from price pressure excluding food and fuel as the main reason for keeping its policy rate unchanged, according to minutes of the April meeting released on Thursday. The MPC, which aims to bring down inflation to 4 percent in the medium term, maintained its hawkish stance on inflation, with most members expressing concern over upside risks to core inflation. One member, M. D. Patra, the executive director of the Reserve Bank of India, and in charge of monetary policy, favoured an increase in the repo rate by 25 basis points as a pre-emptive move to curb inflation pressures.
ET: RBI Governor Urjit Patel has been asked by a parliamentary panel to appear before it again on May 25 over demonetisation issue after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh prevailed over BJP MPs in the panel to call him. Interestingly, Patel was spared a grilling when he had appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in January this year after Singh, who himself was RBI governor once, intervened to say that the RBI as an institution needs to be respected and Patel should not be put "odd" questions.
USD/INR 1M NDFs consolidated around 64.9000 in the Asian session despite gains in the dollar overnight following Paris terror attacks and US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's comments about tax policy. Onshore spot meanwhile gapped higher to open at 64.6400 vs. last close of 64.5600 and traded on either side of 64.6500 on the last day of the week. A recovery in dollar aided by continued geopolitical concerns as well as the looming French elections may pull the pair higher, but 65 handle looks farfetched for now. Medium term downside is still likely as GST becomes a reality. SENSEX breached 29.5k, last seen in gains of 0.3%.