Mumbai: The Indian rupee inched 9 paise higher to 72.20 against the US dollar on Monday, tracking the weakness of the American currency in the overseas market, amid a lacklustre trend in the domestic equity market. At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 72.71 against the US dollar, then inched higher to 72.70 against the greenback, registering a rise of 9 paise over its previous close.
On Friday, the rupee had settled at 72.79 against the American currency. Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.01 per cent to 91.66.
The Indian rupee started on a flat note against the US dollar as weak domestic data was offset by the weakness of the US dollar and lower bond yields, Reliance Securities said in a research note. Meanwhile, the Asian currencies were weak this morning and can cap the appreciation bias, the note added.
In a double whammy for the economy, industrial production growth re-entered the negative territory by contracting by 1.6 per cent in January, while retail inflation soared to a three-month high of 5.03 per cent in February on costlier food items. On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 592.12 points lower at 50,199.96, and the broader NSE Nifty declined 170.40 points to 14,860.55.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market as they offloaded shares worth Rs 942.60 crore on Friday, according to exchange data. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, advanced 0.79 per cent to USD 69.77 per barrel.