The Indian rupee plunged to a fresh record low of over 74 to a US dollar on Friday late afternoon, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) maintained its key benchmark lending rates.
Just after the RBI announced its decision, post 2.30 p.m., the rupee plunged to over 74 a US dollar -- the lowest ever mark -- it has touched against the greenback.
It opened the day's trade at the Inter-Bank Foreign Exchange Market at 73.64 (73.6375) to a dollar from its previous close of 73.58.
The RBI belied market expectations of a rate hike, which was expected to arrest the free fall in the rupee's value.
As per the RBI's fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement, the key lending rates have been kept intact on the back of an uncertain global economic scenario.
The policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) remained unchanged at 6.5 per cent.
"In its monetary policy today, RBI has taken the unexpected stance of keeping the repo rates unchanged. This is surprising and contrary to the industry's expectations, which skewed more towards an increase on the back of increasing inflation and depreciation of the rupee," said Anuj Puri, the chairman of ANAROCK Property Consultants.
"This move could have been seen as favourable for the real estate sector in the short-term; however, banks have already started increasing their lending rates even before the monetary policy was announced. It is, in fact, a worrisome development from a macro-economic long-term perspective."
"It will result in an increased fiscal deficit, which does not bode well for any industry, including real estate, and also in further erosion of the rupee's value," he added.