Rupee logs 1st drop in five sessions, slips 6 paise against USD

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Mumbai, Mar 23 (PTI) The Indian rupee registered its first loss in five sessions on Tuesday, ending lower by 6 paise at 72.43 against the US dollar, tracking weaker Asian peers against the American currency.

However, easing crude oil prices and positive equities lent some support to the local unit and restricted the fall.

At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened flat at 72.37 a dollar. During the session, it witnessed an intra-day high of 72.27 and a low of 72.45. It finally settled 6 paise lower at 72.43 against the American currency.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.42 per cent to 92.12.

Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 3.03 per cent to USD 62.66 per barrel.

'Rupee traded in range on the back of strength in dollar index but soft crude prices kept support for the rupee. Fund flows into capital markets also supports the rupee in around 72.50 which looks like base support for the short-term range. Going ahead 72.50-72.20 range can be seen in rupee,' said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities.

Saif Mukadam, Research Analyst, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, said, 'Indian rupee depreciated on a strong dollar. Further, traders remained cautious ahead of US Federal Reserve Chairman Powell and US Treasury Secretary Yellen testimony before the Committee on Financial Services, US House of Representatives.” On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex surged 280.15 points or 0.56 per cent to close at 50,051.44, while the broader NSE Nifty ended higher by 78.35 points or 0.53 per cent at 14,814.75.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Tuesday as they sold shares worth Rs 108.24 crore, as per exchange data. PTI BAL MKJ MKJ