The rupee appreciated by as much as 17 paise - or 0.23 per cent - to touch the 74.57 mark against the US dollar on Wednesday. The domestic currency moved in a range of eight paise against the dollar, between 74.57 and 74.65, in the first half of the four-hour session, having started the day stronger at 74.57 compared with Tuesday's close of 74.74. It was last seen trading with a gain of 0.12 per cent at 74.65 against the greenback. Losses in domestic equity markets, which took a breather after a rally that lasted five days, and strength in the dollar overseas capped gains for the rupee, say analysts.
The S&P BSE Sensex index fell as much as 1.28 per cent or 489.53 points from the day's highest level of 38,199.27 to hit 37,709.74 in afternoon, having started the session on a positive note.
The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark moved in a range of 135.75 points between 11,238.10 and 11,102.35, as losses in auto and IT stocks offset gains in energy, metal and pharma shares.
Crude oil prices fell on Wednesday as industry data showed a bigger-than-expected inventory build in the United States, where climbing coronavirus cases may further dent fuel demand in the world's biggest oil consumer.
Brent crude futures - the global benchmark for crude oil - were last seen trading 0.80 per cent lower at $43.97 per barrel.
"The USD/INR (pair) looks set to test the crucial 74.50 support today. In the backdrop of global dollar weakness, the Reserve Bank of India may allow the pair to drift lower," said Abhishek Goenka, founder and CEO of forex advisory firm IFA Global.
The dollar index - which gauges the greenback against six currencies - was last seen trading 0.18 per cent higher, having risen as much as 0.26 per cent earlier on Wednesday.
"It may not be as aggressive in mopping up inflows. Likely range for today 74.35-74.75 with down side bias," he added.
At Tuesday's close, the rupee is off 2.82 per cent a record low of 76.91 registered in April, but is still down 4.74 per cent against the US currency so far this year.