Rupee plummets 99 paise to 75.60/USD amid Ukraine crisis
The rupee tanked 99 paise to close at 75.60 against the US dollar on Thursday as riskier assets took a hit after Russia launched military operations against Ukraine.
Forex traders said sustained foreign fund outflows, heavy selling in domestic equities and elevated crude oil prices weighed on investor sentiment.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened at 75.02 against the American dollar but later dropped to a low of 75.75.
The local unit finally finished at 75.60, down 99 paise from the previous close.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.74 per cent higher at 96.90.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures jumped 8.36 per cent to USD 104.94 per barrel.
“Rupee became the worst performing currency among Asian currencies on back of month-end dollar demand from oil importers. Also, safe-haven dollar demand has surged after Russia attacks on Ukraine fuelled sell-off in risk assets,” said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.
Brent Crude oil prices surged past the USD 100-a-barrel mark amid geopolitical worries which worsened sentiments for rupee.
“Spot USD-INR took support at 74.30, the 200 days simple moving average and now heads for a month high of 75.72,” Parmar said.
On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE Sensex crashed 2,702.15 points or 4.72 per cent to finish at 54,529.91, while the broader NSE Nifty plunged 815.30 points or 4.78 per cent to 16,247.95.
Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 3,417.16 crore, as per stock exchange data.
“With Russia announcing military operations against Ukraine, oil prices have shot to the highest levels since 2014, with Brent at 105 dollars a barrel. Higher oil prices, stronger US Dollar index and weaker equity markets are enough to spook the carry traders,” said Anindya Banerjee, DVP, Currency Derivatives & Interest Rate Derivatives at Kotak Securities Ltd.
According to Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities, the rupee tracked other Asian currencies which also tumbled against the dollar.
Technically, if the USD-INR spot pair sustains above 75.45 levels, it could continue its bullish momentum up to the resistance zone at 75.86-76.06. A trade below could pull the spot pair to the support zone at 75.24-74.82.
The USD-INR spot pair could trade in a range of 75.30-76.00 levels in the coming session.
The US dollar rose against a basket of currencies on Thursday evening trade in Asia amid safe haven appeal for the greenback as Russia invaded Ukraine, Iyer said.
Safe-haven dollar and US sanctions on Russia have pushed crude prices beyond USD 100, resulting in pain for the rupee. Till the time the geopolitical issue remains hot, the rupee will be under pressure, said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities.