Rupee breaks past 75-mark vs US dollar, hits lowest level since Aug 2020

Over the last five trading days, the domestic unit has seen a depreciation of 161 paise
The rupee declined 39 paise against the US dollar in Monday's session, looking set to extend its losing streak to the sixth day in a row as investors were spooked by the fast-rising Covid-19 cases in the country that threaten to derail India's economic recovery. Meanwhile, investors were also cautious ahead of the release of key macro-economic data later today.

The domestic unit slipped to 75.13 versus the US dollar, a level seen in August last year. It had opened at 74.96, down 22 paise, against its previous close of 74.74. Over the last five trading days, the domestic unit has seen a depreciation of 161 paise.

Besides the concerns over rising virus cases, a sharp plunge in the domestic market, FII outflows and rise in crude prices also weighed on the sentiment. At 10.30 am, BSE barometer Sensex was trading 1,330, down 2.68 per cent at 48,262 while its NSE counterpart Nifty shed 400 points or 2.71 per cent to trade at 14,432.

India in the last 24-hours reported the highest single-day spike in terms of fresh Covid-19 infections at over 1.7 lakh cases.

"Technically, resistance for USDINR Spot is 75.10-75.20 levels. The support is seen at 74.60-74.50 levels in the coming session. The US dollar index is trading below $92.50 level, indicating a sideways momentum within the range $92.05-$92.55 levels. USDINR future could trade in a range of 75.00 -75.40 levels in today’s session," said Kshitij Purohit, Product Manager, Currency & Commodities at CapitalVia Global Research.

Meanwhile, the US dollar languished near 2-1/2-week lows against major peers on Monday as a decline in Treasury yields restrained the US currency, a Reuters report said.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rivals, was little changed at 92.193 early in the Asian session, following a 0.9 per cent slump last week. It dipped below 92 on Thursday for the first time since March 23.

So, far in the month of April, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have withdrawn a net Rs 929 crore from Indian markets. The reversal of buying trend came after FPIs invested Rs 17,304 crore in March, Rs 23,663 crore in February and Rs 14,649 crore in January.

That apart, oil rose on Monday amid hopes that fuel demand is picking up in the United States as the summer driving season approaches and the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations there accelerates, though increasing case numbers in other countries are set to cap gains. Brent was up 25 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $63.20 a barrel.

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