The rupee depreciated by 47 paise to close at 75.80 against the US dollar on Wednesday, pressured by the Russia-Ukraine crisis which also sent crude oil above the USD 110 per barrel mark.
Forex traders said sustained foreign fund outflows and a lacklustre trend in domestic equities also weighed on investor sentiment.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened at 75.78 against the American dollar but later dropped to a low of 75.86.
The local unit finally finished at 75.80, down 47 paise from its previous close.
On Monday, the rupee had settled at 75.33 against the US dollar. The forex market was closed on Tuesday on account of Mahashivratri.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.20 per cent higher at 97.60.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures surged 5.71 per cent to USD 110.96 per barrel.
On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share Sensex ended 778.38 points or 1.38 per cent lower at 55,468.90, while the broader NSE Nifty shed 187.95 points or 1.12 per cent at 16,605.95.
Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market on Monday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 3,948.47 crore, as per stock exchange data.
“Rupee fell in the opening sessions but consolidated in a narrow range as market participants remain cautious following the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine,” said Gaurang Somaiya, Forex and Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
The Russian ruble was weighed down as Russia’s financial system staggered under the weight of Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Today, volatility for the dollar in the evening session could remain elevated ahead of the release of private payrolls number from the US and Fed Chairman’s testimony, wherein investors will be taking cues for the upcoming policy statement. We expect the USD-INR (Spot) to trade sideways with a positive bias and quote in the range of 75.40 and 76.20,” Somaiya added.
According to Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities, the Indian rupee depreciated against the dollar as oil prices rose to multi-year highs, which could hamper the country’s growth and inflation outlook.
The currency tested an intra-day low of 75.86 earlier today but Reserve Bank of India’s intervention capped further depreciation.
Rumours of lack of exporter selling pressure and foreign outflows from the domestic equities have also kept rupee’s appreciation bias capped, Iyer said.
Additionally, flows into the domestic IPOs could dry up due to the escalated tensions in Eastern Europe.
The US dollar traded stronger in European trade as demand for the greenback rose as nervous traders looked for safety, Iyer said, adding investors will look at cues from the Fed Chairman’s testimony.