Mumbai, Jan 25 (PTI) The rupee slipped 2 paise to close at 81.65 against the US dollar on Wednesday amid a firm trend in crude prices and unabated foreign fund outflows.
Heavy selling pressure in the domestic equity market also hit the local currency, forex traders said.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened strong at 81.59 to a dollar against the previous close of 81.63. The local unit moved in a range of 81.50 to 81.75 during the day.
It finally settled at 81.65 against the US dollar, registering a fall of 2 paise over its previous close.
"Rupee traded in a volatile range between 81.45-81.75 as most of its Asian peers did too following a decline in Treasury yields. The local currency at the start of the week briefly managed to scale above the 81.00 level. Post the positive opening, the tide has turned due to dollar purchases by importers and by public sector banks, likely for the Reserve Bank of India," said Jateen Trivedi, VP Research Analyst at LKP Securities.
The domestic currency has been witnessing a weak trend for the past three days, largely due to the heavy outflow of foreign capital.
"The rupee has been among the worst-performing major Asian currencies over the last three days. Rupee will be in a volatile range now between 81.25-81.85 until the Budget and Fed's policy rate decision along with statements come across on 1st Feb," Trivedi said.
On Tuesday, the rupee had declined 21 paise to close at 81.63 against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, the US dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, declined 0.12 per cent to 101.80.
Brent crude was trading 0.13 per cent higher at USD 86.24 per barrel.
On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE Sensex crashed 773.69 points or 1.27 per cent to close at 60,205.06. The broader NSE Nifty fell 226.35 points or 1.25 per cent to end below the 18,000 level at 17,895.91.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday as they sold shares worth Rs 2,393.94 crore, according to exchange data. PTI HVA BAL BAL