Mumbai: The Indian rupee Tuesday lost another 18 paise to close at 69.60 against the US dollar, marking its third straight session of decline owing to sustained demand for the greenback from importers and rising global crude oil prices.
The local currency has depreciated by 68 paise in the last three days.
Besides, a strong dollar against its rival currencies built additional pressure on the rupee. However, persistent foreign fund inflows and heavy buying in domestic equities supported the rupee and capped the losses to some extent.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the rupee opened lower at 69.55 and fell further to touch the day's low of 69.69. It finally ended at 69.60 per dollar, down by 18 paise against its previous close.
The rupee on Monday had declined by 25 paise to close at 69.42 a dollar.
"The strength in dollar index against a basket of six currencies and delay of dollar inflow by Essar steel lead to weakness in the rupee," said V K Sharma, Head PCG and Capital Markets Strategy, HDFC Securities.
Moreover, there was caution in the market in a holiday-truncated week. Forex and equity markets will remain shut on Wednesday on account of "Mahavir Jayanti" while most of the major financial markets are closed on Friday for the start of the Easter holidays.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.04 per cent to 96.97. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.13 per cent to USD 71.27 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net buyers in the capital markets, putting in Rs 1,038.58 crore Tuesday, as per provisional data.
Equity benchmark Sensex rallied about 370 points to scale a record closing high of 39,275.64 as investors' sentiment got a further boost from a forecast of a near-normal monsoon and a bumper start of corporate earnings season. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty surged 97 points to close at a fresh high of 11,787.15.
Meanwhile, Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 69.5770 and for rupee/euro at 78.6489. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 91.0860 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 62.16.