Snapping its three-session winning streak, the rupee on Friday declined by 20 paise to close at 70.23 against the US dollar as rising crude oil prices and recent foreign fund outflows weighed on investor sentiment. Forex traders said the decline in the local unit was in tandem with the weakness in other major Asian currencies vis-a-vis the US dollar. At the interbank foreign exchange (forex), the domestic currency opened at 70.22 a dollar and fell further to touch the day's low of 70.32. It finally settled at 70.23 per dollar, down 20 paise over its previous close.
The rupee on Thursday had settled at 70.03 to the US dollar. Besides, US-China trade related concerns, rising crude prices and foreign fund outflows also added pressure on the local unit. During the week, the rupee fell by 31 paise. This is the second straight week of loss for the domestic currency.
"Indian rupee heads for the second weekly decline following weakness in Asian currencies against US dollar. Weak economic data, rising crude oil prices and recent foreign fund outflows have been weighing on Indian rupee," said VK Sharma, head PCG & capital markets strategy, HDFC Securities.
Mr Sharma further noted that the rupee is expected to see high volatility in the coming days largely owing to exit polls and general election results.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 1,057.82 crore Friday, according to the provisional data.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.06 per cent to 97.91. Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.48 per cent to trade at $72.97 per barrel.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 70.2469 and for rupee/euro at 78.7210. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 90.1937 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 64.18.
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