Rupee tumbles 75 paise, logs first loss in four sessions


Mumbai | The Indian rupee on Wednesday crashed by 75 paise, its first loss in last four sessions, to close at 70.18 against the US dollar amid strengthening of the greenback and heavy selling in domestic equities.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the rupee opened lower at 69.60 and fell further to touch the day’s low of 70.23 a dollar.

The domestic currency, however, pared some losses and finally ended at 70.18 per dollar, down by 75 paise against its previous close.

On Tuesday, the rupee had appreciated 34 paise to 69.43 against the American currency.

Forex traders attributed the rupee fall to the strong dollar against major global currencies overseas, fall in domestic equities and weak GST collections. Falling crude oil prices, however, supported the rupee and capped the losses to some extent.

“Weak GST collections and concerns around fiscal budget targets added to investor concerns. As a result, the Indian rupee was one of the worst performing emerging market currencies with around 0.9 per cent fall,” said Sunil Sharma, Chief Investment Officer, Sanctum Wealth Management.

Sharma further said that crude holding on to the low prices is the silver lining and bodes well for a recovery in consumer demand in coming months as prices trickle down to the pump.

GST collections dropped to Rs 94,726 crore in December 2018, lower than Rs 97,637 crore collected in the previous month.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading lower at 53.34 per barrel, lower by 0.86 per cent.

Meanwhile, the dollar index was trading higher by 0.26 per cent at 96.33 against a basket of six currencies in the late afternoon trade.

Meanwhile, foreign funds pulled out Rs 621.06 crore from the capital markets on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 226.18 crore Wednesday, provisional data showed.

The 30-share BSE index finished lower by 363.05 points, or 1 per cent, at 35,891.52. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty plunged 117.60 points, or 1.08 per cent, to settle at 10,792.50.

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