Rupee slumps 31 paise to 73.43 against U.S. dollar in early trade amid concerns over rising COVID-19 cases

On April 1, the rupee had settled at 73.12 against the American currency.

The Indian rupee slumped 31 paise to 73.43 against the U.S. dollar in opening trade on April 5 amid concerns over rising COVID-19 cases.

Besides, losses in domestic equity markets also weighed on investors’ sentiment.

At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened at 73.38 against the U.S. dollar, then fell further to 73.43, registering a decline of 31 paise over its previous close.

On April 1, the rupee had settled at 73.12 against the American currency. The forex market was closed on April 2, on account of Good Friday.

The Indian rupee started weak on April 5 and may weaken further against the dollar on concerns over India’s economic outlook following a further increase in coronavirus infections, Reliance Securities said in a research note.

India recorded an all-time high of 1,03,558 coronavirus infections in a day pushing the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,25,89,067, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on April 5.

Asian currencies were range-bound, and volumes were lower than usual with China, Hong Kong, U.K. and Australian markets shut, the note said.

The major driving factor this week will be the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy meeting.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.02% to 92.99.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, declined 0.89% to $64.28 per barrel.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 1,309.3 points lower at 48,720.53, and the broader NSE Nifty fell 367.40 points to 14,499.95.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth ₹149.41 crore on April 1, according to exchange data.

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