The rupee started on a choppy note on Monday as investors turned cautious tracking heavy selling in domestic equities and worries over a new variant of COVID-19.
At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened higher by 5 paise at 74.84 against the greenback and later touched a high of 74.82.
However, the local unit pared gains in late morning deals amid high volatility. The rupee was trading down by 9 paise at 74.98 at 1035hrs.
On Friday, the rupee had plunged by 37 paise or 0.50 per cent against the US dollar to close at a nearly month’s low of 74.89, as investors resorted to risk-off sentiment.
Investor concern resurfaced about lockdowns amid a rise in COVID cases in Europe and a new variant, detected in South Africa. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.19 per cent to 96.27.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 4.06 per cent to USD 75.67 per barrel. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 5,785.83 crore, as per exchange data.
On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share Sensex was trading 98.48 points or 0.17 per cent lower at 57,008.67, while the broader NSE Nifty declined 44.85 points or 0.26 per cent to 16,981.60.(With PTI inputs)