The rupee depreciated 37 paise to 81.63 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday, tracking the strength of the American currency in the overseas market and a muted trend in domestic equities.
Forex traders said the American currency strengthened after strong US retail sales data pointed to resilient consumption despite a slowing economy, adding room for tighter policy by the US Federal Reserve.
At the interbank foreign exchange, the domestic unit opened at 81.62 against the dollar, then lost ground to quote at 81.63, registering a loss of 37 paise over its previous close.
On Wednesday, the rupee depreciated by 35 paise to close at 81.26 against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, advanced 0.26 per cent to 106.55.
The Indian Rupee started this Thursday morning on a weaker note as the dollar stabilised as investors tried to assess the outlook for US Fed policy following stronger-than-expected retail sales data, said Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities.
“Weaker crude oil prices could cap losses, but Asian and emerging market peers were weak this Thursday morning and could cap gains,” Iyer noted.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 1.03 per cent to USD 91.90 per barrel.
In the domestic equity market, the 30-share BSE Sensex was trading 72.14 points or 0.12 per cent down at 61,908.58, and the broader NSE Nifty was trading lower by 32.60 points or 0.16 per cent at 18,377.05.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net sellers in capital markets as they offloaded shares worth Rs 386.06 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.