Rupee tumbles 23 paise to hit over 2-mth low of 74.55/USD

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Mumbai, Jul 1 (PTI) The Indian rupee plunged 23 paise to its lowest level at 74.55 against the US dollar in over two months on Thursday amid a lackluster trend in domestic equity markets and a continuous rise in crude oil prices.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened on a negative note at 74.37 as against its previous close of 74.32. It hovered in the range of 74.34-74.63 per dollar during the day before ending at 74.55 – its lowest closing since April 27.

The domestic currency has lost 36 paise in the three trading sessions to Thursday. 'The bearish momentum in the USD/INR pair picked up after weaker PMI numbers and strength in the broad-based dollar index,' said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.

India's manufacturing sector activities contracted for the first time in 11 months in June as rise in coronavirus cases and strict containment measures adversely impacted demand as well as resulted in job losses, a monthly survey said on Thursday.

The seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) declined to 48.1 in June from 50.8 in May.

Parmar said 'now the focus will be on Friday's payroll data which will act as another litmus test for a bullish dollar. At the domestic front, sentiment favours dollar and dip buying is the most preferred trade versus rupee'.

Spot USDINR has resistance at 74.87 and support at 73.98 with bias remaining on a bullish side, he noted.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.04 per cent to 92.47.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 164.11 points or 0.31 per cent lower at 52,318.60, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 41.50 points or 0.26 per cent to close at 15,680.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.96 per cent to USD 75.34 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Thursday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 1,245.29 crore, as per exchange data. PTI DRR MKJ

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