August trade deficit shrinks as exports rise

Mobile cranes prepare to stack containers at Thar Dry Port in Sanand in the western Indian state of Gujarat

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's trade deficit narrowed to $10.9 billion in August, helped by a double digit rise in merchandise exports, provisional government data showed on Tuesday, offering some respite for the troubled rupee currency.

Merchandise exports rose 12.97 percent in August to $26.14 billion from a year earlier. Imports fell 0.68 percent year-on-year to $37.05 billion.

"We are closing the trade gap," Trade Minister Anand Sharma told reporters at a press conference.

The rupee has been hammered down in a sell-off in emerging currencies as foreign investors readjust their exposure to markets like India, anticipating higher interest rates in the United States.

The rupee hit an all-time low of 68.85 against the dollar last month on concerns over New Delhi's ability to fund its bloated trade deficit.

(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh and Manoj Kumar; editing by Matthias Williams)

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