Rupee opens 18 paise down; slips below 75/USD mark in early trade


Mumbai: The rupee opened 18 paise lower and slipped below the 75 per US dollar mark in opening trade on Thursday after the US Fed meeting minutes signalled at the central bank’s concern over COVID-19 and its impact on economy.

The local unit opened at 75 at the interbank forex market, then lost ground and touched 75.01 against the US dollar, down 19 paise over its last close of 74.82.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.08 per cent to 92.96.

Forex traders said strong dollar, weak domestic equities and muted Fed minutes weighed on investor sentiment.

“The US dollar has strengthened overnight after the release of US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes that were less dovish than expected,” said Abhishek Goenka, Founder and CEO, IFA Global.

As per the FOMC minutes, the committee members have expressed concern over the continuing impact of COVID-19 on economic growth.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 298.34 points lower at 38,316.45 and the broader NSE Nifty fell 75.25 points to 11,333.15.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 459.01 crore on Wednesday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.79 per cent to USD 45.01 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the number of cases around the world linked to COVID-19 has crossed 2.24 crore and in India, the number of infections topped the 28-lakh mark.