The rupee fell sharply today against the US dollar amid weak domestic equities. The rupee today settled at 70.17 a dollar, down 74 paise from its previous close of 69.43. The currency opened at 69.63 a dollar traded in the range of 69.55-70.23 during the day. The rupee had appreciated by 34 paise on Tuesday to hit a five-month high against the US dollar. Meanwhile, domestic equities came under strong selling pressure today with Sensex ending over 300 points lower. The 10-year bond yield settled at 7.355% today, from its Tuesday’s close of 7.418%.

Forex traders said foreign fund outflows weighed on the local unit. However, brent crude prices dropped by around 1% in 2019’s first trading today, pulled down by surging US output and concerns about a global economic slowdown.

The rupee-dollar pair could trade in the range of 69.30-70.30 for the near term, says forex advisory IFA Global.

GST collection in December dropped to 94,726 crore, lower than 97,637 crore collected in the previous month. “The shortfall in indirect tax collections is likely to make fiscal slippage inevitable. Announcement of any populist measures could spook the bond markets," IFA Global said in a note.

On Tuesday, foreign investors sold $143.55 million in equity and bought $172.45 million in debt market. The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 95.88, down 0.12% from its previous close of 96.02.

The rupee had a tumultuous year in 2018, falling nearly 9% against the US dollar. On year-over-year basis, the rupee depreciated by a whopping 509 paise as compared to 2017-end level of 63.87.

Close