Mumbai: The rupee on Tuesday recovered 7 paise to close at 70.44 to the US dollar on the back of gains in equity markets while US-China trade-related concerns and rising crude oil prices continued to weigh on investor sentiment.
Stock markets cut short their nine-day losing streak with the benchmark BSE Sensex closing 0.61 per cent higher and NSE Nifty regaining nearly 74 points on value buying in pharma and banking counters.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened strong at 70.43 against the US currency. During the day, the local unit moved in a range of 70.51 to 70.30.
The domestic currency finally ended at 70.44, up 7 paise against its previous close. The rupee had slid to a two-and-a-half-month-low of 70.51 Monday on heavy forex outflows.
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"Strong recovery in the domestic equity markets and US Futures helped the rupee maintain strength throughout the session," said V K Sharma, Head PCG & Capital Markets Strategy, HDFC Securities.
Foreign fund outflows, rising crude prices and US-China trade-related concerns continued to weigh on the domestic currency, dealers said.
"Rupee has nearly depreciated by 1.4 per cent in the last one week on account of the escalating trade dispute between US and China and sustained outflow from the Indian capital market. There has been a net outflow of around USD 200 million dollars from the Indian capital market in the last one week," said Vaqarjaved Khan (Research Analyst, Angel Broking).
On the trade war front, US President Donald Trump remained adamant on his policy to impose a hefty import duty on Chinese products, which has resulted in a quick retaliation from China and a massive fall in the American stock markets fearing a US-China trade war.
"There can be some retaliation, but it can't be very, very substantial, by comparison," Trump told reporters at the Oval Office of the White House.
China announced a hike in retaliatory tariffs on the import of USD 60 billion of American products.
Meanwhile, the Dollar Index which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies gained 0.06 per cent to 97.38.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 2,011.85 crore on a net basis Tuesday, provisional exchange data showed.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.28 per cent to trade at USD 71.13 per barrel amid simmering US-Iran tensions and supply-side disruptions.
Meanwhile, Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 70.2576 and for rupee/euro at 78.9227. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 91.4370 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 64.04....