Rupee slips 9 paise to 73.55 against US dollar in early trade

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.40 per cent to USD 39.90 per barrel.

Mumbai: The rupee depreciated 9 paise to 73.55 against the US dollar in opening trade on Friday tracking muted domestic equities.

The local unit opened at 73.50 at the interbank forex market, then lost ground and touched 73.55 against the US dollar, down 9 paise over its last close of 73.46.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.07 per cent to 93.26.

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Forex traders said India-China border standoff dampened investor sentiment. Moreover, a roadblock in coronavirus vaccine trials also weighed on the local unit.

India and China have agreed on a five-point roadmap including quick disengagement of troops and avoiding any action that could escalate tensions for resolving the four-month-long face-off in eastern Ladakh.

Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India on Thursday said it is putting on hold clinical trials of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine for which it has been enlisted to manufacture a billion doses.

India’s COVID-19 caseload sprinted past 45 lakh and the death toll climbed to 76,271 with a record 96,551 infections and 1,209 fatalities being reported in a day, while the recoveries crossed 35 lakh on Friday, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 15.97 points higher at 38,856.29 and the broader NSE Nifty rose 5.15 points to 11,454.40.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 838.37 crore on a net basis on Thursday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.40 per cent to USD 39.90 per barrel.

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