The rupee plunged 13 paise to close at a fresh all-time low of 78.17 (provisional) against the US dollar on Wednesday, as a lacklustre trend in domestic equities and persistent foreign fund outflows weighed on investor sentiments. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 77.99 and finally settled at its all-time low of 78.17, down 13 paise over its previous close of 78.04.
"Expectation is that US central bank could raise rates by 50 bps. Hawkish comments could continue to keep the dollar supported at lower levels. Major crosses remained under pressure following broad gains in the dollar," said Gaurang Somaiya, Forex & Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services. Somaiya added, "We expect the USD-INR to trade with sideways and quote in the range of 77.70 and 78.40." The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.64 per cent to 104.84.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, declined 1.07 per cent to USD 119.87 per barrel. On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 152.18 points or 0.29 per cent lower at 52,541.39, while the broader NSE Nifty shed 39.95 points or 0.25 per cent to 15,692.15. Continuing their selling spree, foreign institutional investors offloaded shares worth a net Rs 4,502.25 crore on Tuesday, as per stock exchange data.