The rupee slumped 17 paise to 75.22 against the US dollar in opening trade on Thursday following losses in domestic equity markets amid concerns over rising COVID-19 cases. Besides, foreign fund outflows also weighed on investors’ sentiment, forex traders said.
At the interbank foreign exchange, the domestic unit opened sharply lower at 75.19 against the dollar, and lost further ground to quote at 75.22, a fall of 17 paise over its previous close. In early deals, it touched a low of 75.23. The rupee on Monday had closed at 75.05 against the US dollar.
The forex market was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday on account of ’Gudi Padwa’ and ’Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti’, respectively. The number of new coronavirus cases in India hit a record daily high with over 2 lakh infections being reported in a day, while the active cases surpassed the 14-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
With the new cases, the total tally of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 1,40,74,564. The 30-share BSE Sensex was trading 269.37 points or 0.55 per cent lower at 48,274.69. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 68.60 points or 0.47 per cent to 14,436.20. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 730.81 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading slightly higher by 0.02 per cent to 91.69. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, edged lower by 0.01 per cent to USD 66.57 per barrel.