Indian rupee, the domestic currency benchmark, opened on a flat note and fell 7 paise to 73.42 per US dollar on Monday's opening deals, on fresh demand for the US currency from crude and gold importers. Capital inflows and strong domestic equities, however limited the local currency's and kept losses checked.
The local unit opened at 73.38 per US dollar at the interbank forex market, then lost ground and fell down 7 paise to 73.42 over its previous close of 73.35 on Friday.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 604.07 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were also net sellers to the tune of Rs 808.29 crore in the Indian equity market on 15 October, provisional data showed.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.09 per cent to 93.76. The dollar held on to gains supported by political uncertainty around the US elections and as investor turned optimistic about COVID-19 vaccine.
"Rising COVID-19 cases has prompted investors to move towards the safe haven appeal of the US dollar," Reliance Securities said in a research note.
"Most of the Asian currencies have started marginally stronger against the US dollar this Monday morning and could lift sentiments," the report noted.
On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex gained 457 points higher at 40,440 and Nifty was rising 116 points to 11,869.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.30 per cent to USD 42.80 per barrel. Oil price slipped today, pulled down by fear over falling demand due to rising corona virus cases in US and Europe.
Worldwide, there were 402 lakh confirmed cases and 10.96 lakh deaths from COVID-19 outbreak. India's COVID-19 caseload breached the 75-lakh mark and the death toll from COVID-19 infections rose to 1.14 lakh, as of today.