The rupee declined by as much as 17 paise - or 0.22 per cent - to 75.80 against the US dollar during Wednesday's session, as the country remained in an extended lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Trimming some of those intraday losses, the currency ended at 75.76 against the US currency. The rupee had settled at 75.63 against the greenback the previous day. At Wednesday's close, the rupee is down 6.17 per cent against the dollar so far this year.
Domestic equity markets fluctuated between gains and losses on Wednesday as gains in automobile and select financial stocks were countered by weakness in consumer goods shares.
At 10:35 am, the S&P BSE Sensex index traded 321.43 points - or 1.02 per cent - higher at 31,774.94 while the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark was up 94.40 points (1.03 per cent) at 9,300.00.
The dollar index - which gauges the American currency against six major peers overseas - rose as much as 0.14 per cent on Wednesday, and was last seen trading up 0.09 per cent.
Crude oil prices reversed direction to edge lower on a higher-than-expected rise in US stocks amid a coronavirus (COVID-19)-driven slump in fuel demand. Brent crude futures - the global benchmark for crude oil - dipped 0.7 per cent to $30.77 per barrel, following six consecutive days of upmove.
Analysts say the rupee is expected to continue to move under pressure in the near term.
"Currently, the (rupee-dollar) pair is moving like a pendulum between 74.90 and 76.90 levels. With any positive occurrence, we see it moving towards the 75 levels and vise-versa," forex advisory firm CR Forex Advisors said in a note.
"Given the fragility of the situation... it is time to be hedged than being adventurous. Levels have no meaning when panic grips the market," CR Forex said.
Currency markets currently operate within reduced trading hours due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The temporary timings are from 10 am to 2 pm, instead of the original 9 am to 5 pm.