The Indian rupee resumed its downward journey after a day's hiatus on Friday, plummeting by 46 paise to 73.79 (provisional) against the US dollar as coronavirus-panicked investors kept assessing deteriorating financial markets. At the interbank foreign exchange, the domestic currency started the session with a massive plunge at 73.94 to the US dollar. It went on to hit a day's low of 74.08 before staging a recovery. The rupee finally settled with a loss of 46 paise at 73.79 a dollar.
The Indian unit had clocked its first gain after falling for five sessions on Thursday. Global crude oil benchmark Brent Futures dropped 4.30 per cent to USD 48.02 per barrel. Oil prices extended losses on reports that Russia wants to delay deeper output cuts recommended by its OPEC allies. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was down 0.86 per cent to 95.98.
Volatility continued to grip the markets amid investor concerns over the global coronavirus outbreak. On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 893.99 points or 2.32 per cent lower at 37,576.62. Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty tanked 279.55 points or 2.48 per cent to close at 10,989.45. "Rupee depreciated sharply by more than 2.5 per cent to hit a 17-month low this week as investor sentiments remained fragile amid escalating worries over the impact of rapidly spreading coronavirus globally," Rahul Gupta, Head of Research - Currency, Emkay Global Financial Services, said.
However, the fall was cushioned due to possible intervention of the RBI, he said. Going forward market participates will have a close eye on any possible intervention/update by the RBI or the government, Gupta said adding that on upside crucial resistance lies at 74.47 (all-time low) and if the rupee consistently trades above 74.47 then 75.0-75.50 is expected.