The Indian rupee plunged 70 paise to 74.96 against US dollar in early trade on Thursday as investors fretted over the sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the country and its impact on the economy.
According to Health Ministry, coronavirus cases in India has touched 169.
Traders said there is a sense of anxiety among investors as they see the global as well as domestic economy plunging into a deep crisis due to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that has killed nearly 9,000 and sickened lakhs of people around the globe.
The steep decline in domestic equities and sustained foreign fund outflows further dampened the sentiment, they said.
The rupee opened on a weak note at 74.96 at the interbank forex market, down 70 paise over its last close. The Indian currency later slipped past 75 per dollar amid coronavirus uncertainty and traded 85 paise or 1.15% lower at 75.11 per USD.
The local unit had settled at 74.26 against the US dollar on Wednesday.
"The local unit has a crucial support around 74.50 levels and any break past that will further weaken the rupee. The larger trend continues to be weak for the domestic currency, given the economic blow from the coronavirus outbreak," said Sugandha Sachdeva VP-Metals, Energy & Currency Research, Religare Broking.
Foreign investors remained net sellers in Indian capital markets as they pulled out more than Rs 5,085.35 crore on Wednesday, market data showed.
Domestic bourses opened on a negative note on Thursday with benchmark indices Sensex trading 1,944.02 points down at 26,925.49 and Nifty fell 498.25 points to 8,468.80.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.73 per cent to USD 25.31 per barrel.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.22 per cent to 101.37.
The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.37 per cent in morning trade.