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Rupee plunges by 23 paise, slips below 75 a dollar on new COVID variant worries

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At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 74.84 and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.82 and a low of 75.16 against the US dollar in a highly volatile trading session. The local unit finally settled at 75.12 a dollar, down 23 paise over its previous close.

Rupee plunges by 23 paise, slips below 75 a dollar on new COVID variant worries
The rupee on Monday plunged by 23 paise to close at 75.12 (provisional) against the US dollar, as investors turned cautious in view of a new variant of COVID-19. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 74.84 and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.82 and a low of 75.16 against the US dollar in a highly volatile trading session.
The local unit finally settled at 75.12 a dollar, down 23 paise over its previous close. On Friday, the rupee had plunged by 37 paise or 0.50 percent against the US dollar to close at a nearly month's low of 74.89, as investors resorted to risk-off sentiment.
Investor concern resurfaced about lockdowns amid a rise in COVID cases in Europe and a new variant, detected in South Africa. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.11 percent up at 96.19.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, advanced 4.29 percent to USD 75.84 per barrel.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 153.43 points or 0.27 percent higher at 57,260.58, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 27.50 points or 0.16 percent to 17,053.95.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 5,785.83 crore, as per exchange data.
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