Rupee slides 16 paise, breaches 72-mark vs USD

Mumbai: The rupee declined by 16 paise to close at 72.01 against the US dollar Wednesday amid strengthening of the greenback and rising crude oil prices even as the equity markets staged a sharp upmove.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the local unit opened lower at 72.10 and fell further to touch the day's low of 72.17.

The domestic currency, however, pared some losses and ended at 72.01 per dollar, down by 16 paise against its previous close.

On Tuesday, the rupee had plunged 53 paise to 71.85 per US dollar.

The weakness in the rupee comes amid the prompt appointment of former bureaucrat Shaktikanta Das as the new RBI Governor.

Fitch Ratings Wednesday said the resignation of Urjit Patel as Reserve Bank Governor highlights the risks to RBI's policy priorities and increased government influence on the central bank could undermine the efforts to address bad loan problems.

Forex traders said the rupee came under pressure following strengthening of the dollar against major global currencies overseas and rise in crude oil prices. However, a significant surge in domestic equities capped the fall.

The BSE Sensex zoomed 629.06 points, or 1.79 per cent, to end at 35,779.07, while the broader NSE Nifty rallied 188.45 points, or 1.79 per cent, to 10,737.60.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading at USD 61.23 per barrel Wednesday, higher by 1.71 per cent.

Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 72.0407 and for rupee/euro at 81.5928. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 90.0393 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen was 63.50.

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