Indian rupee opened 18 paise lower and slipped below the 75 per dollar mark on Thursday after the US Fed meeting minutes signalled at the central bank's concern over COVID-19 and its impact on economy.
The local unit opened at 75 at the interbank forex market, then lost ground and touched 75.01 against the US dollar, down 19 paise over its last close of 74.82.
Forex traders said strong dollar, weak domestic equities and muted Fed minutes weighed on investor sentiment. As per the FOMC minutes, the committee members have expressed concern over the continuing impact of COVID-19 on economic growth.
The dollar index, which reflects the greenback's value against six leading Asian trading currencies, steadied at 93.042. The dollar rose 0.50% this morning after trading near two-year lows, as the Fed minutes downplayed the chances of change in interest rate policy until end-2021.
"The US dollar has strengthened overnight after the release of US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes that were less dovish than expected," said Abhishek Goenka, Founder and CEO, IFA Global.
On the domestic equity market front, domestic benchmarks reversed trend from three days of consecutive gains and fell deep in red, amid weak global cues. Sensex was trading 354 points lower at38,276 and Nifty fell 88 points to 11,324.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 459.01 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 97.13 crore in the Indian equity market on 19 August, provisional data showed.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.79 per cent to USD 45.01 per barrel.
Worldwide, there are 225 lakh confirmed cases and 7.91 lakh deaths from COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, the death toll in India crossed 54,000 mark and total coronavirus stood at 28.37 lakh as of Thursday.
(With PTI Inputs)