Rupee ends 5 paise lower at 73.36 against USD

Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Thursday settled 5 paise lower at 73.36 to the US dollar as weaker Asian peers and fund outflows from domestic markets weighed on investor sentiment.

Additionally, importers’ mid-month dollar demand also put pressure on the local unit, analysts said.

At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened on a steady note but was caught in volatility as the trade progressed.

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During the session, it hit an intra-day high of 73.22 and a low of 73.41 against the US dollar. It finally closed at 73.36, lower by 5 paise over its previous close of 73.31.

Foreign institutional investors turned net sellers in the capital market as they offloaded shares worth Rs 604.07 crore on Thursday, exchange data showed.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.34 per cent to 93.69.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 1.27 per cent to USD 42.77 per barrel.

On the equities front, the BSE Sensex plummeted 1,066.33 points or 2.61 per cent to end at 39,728.41; while the broader NSE Nifty crashed 290.70 points or 2.43 per cent to 11,680.35.

“The Indian rupee depreciated against the dollar, weighed by a weak risk appetite in the region as the possibility of another US fiscal stimulus package before the presidential elections looks doubtful, Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities, said.

Possible fund and portfolio outflows in the domestic markets may also have weighed on the domestic unit, he added.

Asian currencies were weak amid the sour risk tone as the dollar index inched higher and weighed on sentiments, Iyer noted.

Rising COVID-19 cases and uncertainty over US stimulus too affected investor sentiment, traders said.

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