Indian rupee, the currency benchmark, depreciated by 13 paise to 74.32 per US dollar on Thursday's opening trade, tracking muted domestic equities and strong American currency.
The domestic unit opened at 74.28 per US dollar at the interbank forex market and gained ground and touched 74.23. In volatile trade, the local unit also fell by 13 paise to 74.32 per dollar over its previous close.
On Wednesday, rupee had settled at 74.19 against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, the dollar index rose 0.16 per cent to 92.46 as against a basket of six currencies.
On the domestic equity market front, market indices traded flat with negative bias on Thursday, amid weak global equities. Earlier at the opening bell, Sensex traded 188 points lower at 43,992 and Nifty fell 76 points to 12,861. During the session, Sensex and Nifty touched their lifetime highs of 44,222 and 12,959, respectively.
In major news, Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday said that a final data analysis found their coronavirus vaccine was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 and appeared to fend off severe disease. Meanwhile Moderna said preliminary phase three trial data showed its vaccine was more than 94% effective.
Foreign institutional investors continued being net buyers in the capital market. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 3,071.93 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 2,789.85 crore in the Indian equity market on 18 November, provisional data showed.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.52 per cent to USD 44.11 per barrel. Oil price gained yesterday on hopes that OPEC and its allies may delay increase in output and also took cues from positivity surrounding vaccine development.
Notwithstanding the positive news, the rupee was trading in a narrow range "as rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the US offset positive sentiments surrounding the potential vaccine," Reliance Securities said in a research note.
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