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Rupee falls sharply against US dollar today, slides past 76 amidst rising COVID cases

The rupee depreciated 31 paise to 76.10 against the US dollar in opening trade on Friday as strengthening the US dollar, weak domestic equities, and sustained foreign fund outflows weighed on investor sentiment.

Forex traders said risk appetite has waned and there is growing concern about a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

The rupee opened weak at 76.10 at the interbank forex market, down 31 paise over its last close.

It had settled at 75.79 against the US dollar on Thursday.

Traders said, market participants are keenly awaiting Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data scheduled to be released later in the day for further cues.

Meanwhile, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 795.59 points lower at 32,742.78 and broader NSE Nifty fell 221.80 points to 9,680.20.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market as they sold shares worth Rs 805.14 crore on Thursday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 1.27 percent to USD 38.06 per barrel.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.12 percent to 96.85.

Meanwhile, investor sentiment remained fragile amid rising coronavirus cases across the world.

India recorded over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day for the first time, taking the tally to 2,97,535, while the death toll rose to 8,498 with a record single-day spike of 396 fatalities, according to the Health Ministry data.

Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 75.14 lakh and the death toll has topped 4.21 lakh.

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