The Indian rupee declined by 26 paise to 71.80 against the US dollar in opening trade on Thursday amid muted opening in domestic equities and rising crude oil prices. Besides, as investor sentiments remained fragile amid coronavirus fears and sustained foreign fund outflows.
The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in China has climbed to 2,118 with the death of 114 more people, while the overall confirmed cases increased to 74,576, Chinese officials said on Thursday. The rupee opened weak at 71.75 at the interbank forex market and then fell further to 71.80, down 26 paise over its last close.
The rupee had settled at 71.54 against the US dollar on Tuesday. Forex market was shut on February 19, on account of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti. Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.10 per cent to USD 59.18 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, as they pulled out Rs 190.66 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell marginally by 0.01 per cent to 99.69.
The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.40 per cent in the morning trade. Equity market benchmark BSE Sensex fell 36.90 points to trade at 41,286.10 in openings deals on Thursday. While, the NSE gauge Nifty was down 16.30 points to trade at 12,109.60 in early trade.