Rupee hits over 10-week low, slumps 35 paise against USD

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Mumbai, Nov 4 (PTI) The Indian rupee on Wednesday plunged by 35 paise to close at its weakest level in over 10 weeks at 74.76 against the US dollar as investors appeared cautious looking for clarity on the US election outcome and the latest tranche of fiscal stimulus.

At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened at 74.74 against the greenback and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.57 and a low of 74.90. It finally settled at 74.76 -- its lowest level since August 21 this year.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.35 per cent to 93.88.

'The rupee will continue to be in focus till clarity emerges on the US election outcome and the latest tranche of fiscal stimulus. In times of uncertainty, investors tend to rush towards the USD which is a safe haven,' Nish Bhatt, Founder & CEO, Millwood Kane International, said.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.38 per cent to USD 39.86 per barrel.

On the domestic equity market front, BSE benchmark Sensex ended 355.01 points or 0.88 per cent higher at 40,616.14; and the the broader NSE Nifty climbed 95 points or 0.80 per cent to 11,908.50.

'The big risk to the currency market is the uncertainty over the new US President and the inconclusive election result. The democrats are leading but republican are catching up. In such a scenario, traders are preferring to go against rupee,' said Rahul Gupta, Head of Research- Currency, Emkay Global Financial Services.

The closely-fought US presidential election appeared to be headed into an uncertain phase with Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden fighting it out in the key battleground states.

'The rupee depreciated against the greenback as investors continued to have faith in the dollar over US election outcome concerns,' said Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities.

Iyer further said that investors will be also looking to the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England monetary policies, due on Thursday. PTI DRR MKJ