The rupee depreciated by 5 paise to close at 81.79 against the US dollar on Monday, tracking the strength of the American currency in the overseas markets and a muted trend in domestic equities.
The greenback rallied in the overseas markets on safe-haven demand as the investor sentiment hit by rising Covid-19 cases and subsequent restrictions in China.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local unit opened at 81.84 and later witnessed an intraday high of 81.74 and a low of 81.91 during the session.
The domestic unit finally settled at 81.79 against the American currency, registering a fall of 7 paise over its last close.
On Friday, the rupee depreciated 10 paise to close at 81.74 against the US currency.
The rupee depreciated on weak domestic markets and a strong dollar. FII outflows put downside pressure on the rupee, said Anuj Choudhary – Research Analyst at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.
The US dollar gained amid hawkish tone by most Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members and concerns over rising COVID-19 cases in China, which dimmed hopes of reopening in China.
Economic data from the US remained mixed. The US existing home sales declined to 4.43 million in October from 4.71 million in September but topped estimates of 4.41 million.
"We expect the rupee to trade with a negative bias on strength in the US Dollar amid risk aversion in global markets. However, weak crude oil prices may support the rupee at lower levels. Traders may remain cautious ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes later this week," Choudhary said.
"The Indian rupee depreciated against the US dollar as fears of a return to stricter COVID-19 restriction measures in China weighed on Asian currencies.
"The dollar index rose 0.8 percent to 107.81, its third straight day of gains, as risk appetite dwindled amid concern over rising cases of COVID in China," said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.
Parmar further said that Spot USDINR is expected to trade in the range of 82.40 to 81.50 with an upward bias.
According to Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities, the Indian rupee depreciated against the US dollar on Monday, as Asian currencies weakened tracking the Chinese yuan's fall over COVID worries.
Concerns over China's economic outlook dampened risk appetite and boosted the dollar index and weighed on the local unit.
It could be a range-bound week for the markets as investors await the Fed minutes which may not disclose a big surprise for the markets and the Rupee could remain within a broad trading band of 81.0000-83.0000 with the RBI likely present on both sides.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures declined 0.76 percent to $86.95 per barrel.
On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE Sensex fell 518.64 points or 0.84 percent to end at 61,144.84, while the broader NSE Nifty declined 147.70 points or 0.81 percent to 18,159.95.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in capital markets as they offloaded shares worth Rs 1,593.83 crore on Monday, according to exchange data.Meanwhile, India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $14.72 billion to reach $544.72 billion for the week to November 11, making it the steepest accretion since August 2021.