Mumbai: The rupee depreciated marginally by 5 paise to 68.59 against the US dollar in early trade on Tuesday as the country's exports entered the negative zone after a gap of eight months.
At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened weak at 68.59 registering a decline of 5 paise over its last close. The local currency however pared the initial loss and was trading at 68.55 at 0945 hrs. The rupee had settled at 68.54 against the US dollar on Monday.
Forex traders said weak trade data, foreign fund outflows and rising crude oil prices weighed on the domestic currency.
According to the government data, India's exports entered negative zone after a gap of eight months recording a decline of 9.71 per cent to USD 25.01 billion in June.
Imports also declined 9 per cent to USD 40.29 billion in June mainly due to falling prices of petroleum products, leaving a trade deficit of USD 15.28 billion.
Notwithstanding the weak trade data, positive opening in domestic equities supported the local unit and restricted the downfall, traders said.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.12 per cent to USD 66.56 per barrel. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) pulled out Rs 216.44 crore on a net basis Monday, provisional data showed.
Domestic bourses opened on a positive note on Tuesday with benchmark indices Sensex trading 109.86 points higher at 39,006.57 and Nifty up 31 points at 11,619.35....