The rupee opened higher and moved in a range of 17 paise against the US dollar on Thursday. After opening on a strong note at 68.76 against the dollar, the rupee moved between 68.72 and 68.89 against the greenback during the session at the day's strongest and weakest levels respectively. In afternoon deals, the rupee traded largely unchanged at 68.81 against the US currency as against its previous close of 68.82. Gains in Asian peers and selling of the dollars by exporters provided support to the rupee against the greenback.
However, the upside was kept in check by weakness in the capital markets and continued foreign fund outflows.
The dollar index - which gauges the US currency against six major peers - was last seen trading 0.2 per cent lower on Thursday. A fall in Treasury yields in the wake of weak US housing market data and concerns about the ongoing US-China trade war impacted the index, which had risen to a one-week peak in the previous session on robust US retail sales.
The lack of progress on trade talks between US and China would unnerve markets, said forex advisory firm IFA Global in a note. "The optimism would gradually begin to fade if there are no developments," it added.
Domestic stock markets fell on Thursday dragged by a selloff across sectors, breaking a three-day winning run. The S&P BSE Sensex fell as much as 127.88 points to 39,087.76 in early trade, and the NSE Nifty moved to 11,644.85, down 42.65 points from the previous close.
Analysts expect volatility in the markets to continue as more large cap companies report their quarterly earnings.
Foreign investors, meanwhile, sold shares worth Rs 16.97 crore on a net basis on Wednesday, according to provisional data from the NSE.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices were mixed on Thursday. Brent crude futures - the global benchmark for crude oil - were last seen trading up 6 cents, or 0.1 per cent, at $63.72 a barrel, after falling 1.1 per cent the previous day.
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