Rupee slumps 20 paise to close at 74.99 against U.S. dollar

The rupee tumbled 20 paise to close at 74.99 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar on Friday, as rising crude oil prices weighed on investor sentiment, even as the domestic equities ended with handsome gains.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 75 and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.91 and a low of 75.16 against the U.S. dollar in day trade.

The local unit finally settled at 74.99 a dollar, down 20 paise over its previous close.

On Thursday, the rupee had settled at 74.79 against the U.S. dollar.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, advanced 0.76 % to $ 82.57 per barrel.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.06 % lower at 94.15.

"The Indian rupee registered worst weekly loss after April 09 following a surge in crude oil and dollar index," said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.

On the bi-monthly RBI policy meet, Mr. Parmar said that RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das "surprised markets by suspending its version of quantitative easing (GSAP), while kept interest rate unchanged with an accommodative stance".

On the macroeconomic front, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday decided to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4 % but maintained an accommodative stance even as the economy is showing signs of recovery after the second COVID wave.

The RBI Governor said MPC voted unanimously for keeping the interest rate unchanged and decided to continue with its accommodative stance as long as necessary to support growth and keep inflation within the target.

"Spot USD/INR expected to trade with a positive bias and sustainable trade above 75 will open higher side of 75.35, while on the downside support has been switched to 74.50," Mr. Parmar noted.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 381.23 points or 0.64 % higher at 60,059.06, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 104.85 points or 0.59 % to 17,895.20.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Thursday as they offloaded shares worth ₹ 1,764.25 crore, as per exchange data.

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