Mumbai: The rupee declined by 44 paise to close at 69.67 against the US dollar Monday amid higher dollar demand from importers and rising crude oil prices.
This is the third straight session of loss for the domestic unit, during which it has lost 126 paise.
Forex traders said that dollar demand from importers and heavy selling in domestic equities added pressure to the domestic unit.
However, persistent foreign fund inflows supported the rupee and capped the losses to some extent, they added.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the rupee opened lower at 69.40 and fell further to touch the day's low of 69.71.
It finally ended at 69.67 per dollar, down by 44 paise against its previous close.
On Friday, the rupee had skidded 6 paise to finish at 69.23 per dollar.
"Rupee started the week on negative note amid surge in crude oil prices. Rupee contracts fell across curve for third day amid dollar demand from the oil importers," 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, fell 0.21 per cent to 97.19.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.43 per cent to USD 70.64 per barrel.
"Oil extended its rally to a five-month high as conflict in major producer Libya increased the risk of new supply outages. Brent crude oil last quoted at USD 70.59 barrel up 0.4 per cent, highest level since November 2018," Sharma said.
Meanwhile, foreign investors (FIIs) remained net buyers in the capital markets, putting in Rs 329.60 crore on a net basis Monday, as per provisional data.
"(The) RBI in its recent MPC meet did not explicitly shift tone to accommodative from neutral which puts a question mark on the growth prospects for Indian assets. This did not go down well with the forex markets which led to an INR sell-off," said Rajesh Cheruvu, Chief Investment Officer, WGC Wealth.
Many emerging currencies weakened in the day despite positive news flow of the USChina trade talks and US jobs reports allaying global growth fears. This suggests market participants have already priced in these news snippets and look to book profits in riskier assets which are likely more sensitive to any downside, he added.
Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty Monday faced high volatility and closed with losses. The BSE gauge Sensex ended lower by 161.70 points at 38,700.53, while the NSE Nifty lost 61.45 points to settle the day at 11,604.50.
Meanwhile, Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 69.5142 and for rupee/euro at 78.0403. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 90.7804 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 62.38....