The rupee erased all of the day's gains to end nearly unchanged at 74.76 against the US dollar on Wednesday. The domestic currency moved between 74.57 and 74.86 during the four-hour session, having started the day stronger at 74.57 compared with its previous close of 74.74. Gains in the dollar overseas along with weakness in domestic equity markets following a five-day rally put pressure on the rupee, according to analysts. At the current level, the rupee is off 2.80 per cent a record low of 76.91 registered in April, but is still down 4.76 per cent against the greenback so far this year.
Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty reversed direction to end marginally lower amid selling pressure in auto and IT stocks, following a rally that lasted five trading sessions. The Sensex closed 0.16 per cent lower at 37,871.52 and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark shut shop down 0.27 per cent at 11,132.60.
Crude oil prices rices fell on Wednesday as industry data showed a bigger-than-expected inventory build-up in the US, where a surge in COVID-19 cases could further dent fuel demand in the world's biggest oil consumer.
Brent crude futures - the global benchmark for crude oil - were last seen trading 1.40 per cent lower at $43.72 per barrel.
The dollar index - which gauges the greenback against six currencies - was last seen trading 0.05 per cent higher, having risen as much as 0.31 per cent earlier on Wednesday.
"Considering the risk-on mood of the investors, any uptick arising out of Reserve Bank of India intervention or an unprecedented news or event should be taken as a selling opportunity as there is a clear positive shift of trajectory in the rupee," said Amit Pabari, managing director at forex advisory firm CR Forex Advisors.
"If the rupee happens to break 74.50 levels, it will indicate a trend change and the (USD-INR) pair can bring in sharp moves on the downside," he added.