The rupee on Friday weakened by 8 paise to close at 70.49 against the US dollar on rise in demand for the American currency from exporters coupled with unabated rise in global crude oil prices. Besides, foreign fund outflows and stronger dollar against its key rival currencies impacted the rupee trading pattern. At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the rupee opened strong at 70.38 a dollar against the previous close of 70.41. The local unit moved in a range of 70.34 to 70.59, before finally ending at 70.49, showing a loss of 8 paise. On Thursday, the rupee ticked higher by 5 paise to close at 70.41 per US dollar.
"Rupee becomes the worst performing currency among Asian basket as foreigners continued selling domestic equity and debt. Oil importers rush for dollar after crude oil back in to bull market (gained 24 per cent since mid-December)," said VK Sharma, head PCG & capital markets strategy, HDFC Securities.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, dipped 0.23 per cent to 95.31 in late afternoon trade.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at $61.83 per barrel, higher by 0.24 per cent. Brent crude was trading near $62 barrel and as a result, the Indian rupee depreciated further, said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer, Sanctum Wealth Management.
Meanwhile, foreign funds sold shares worth Rs 687.20 crore on a net basis Friday, while domestic institutional investors bought equities to the tune of Rs 123.17 crore, provisional data showed.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 70.4737 and for rupee/euro at 81.2083. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 89.9155 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 65.03.
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