The Indian rupee weakened further by 11 paise against the US currency to close at its weakest level in nearly five months on Thursday amid fears that a rapid resurgence of Covid cases in the country can disrupt economic recovery.
Logging its fourth straight session loss, the domestic currency settled at 74.58 to the US dollar - the lowest level for the rupee since November 13, 2019.
At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 74.38 against the greenback and traded in the range of 74.19 to 74.93 during the day.
On Wednesday, the Indian rupee nosedived 105 paise to mark its biggest single-session drop in over 20 months. Over the past four sessions, the domestic unit has lost 146 paise in its valuation against the US dollar.
Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities, said, "Government spending keeps increasing on vaccines and health products due to rising COVID-19 cases. INR will be seen in a range of 74.45-75.15 in sessions ahead with a weak trend for the rupee." According to Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities, the rupee drifted further downward on Thursday amid domestic headwinds of slower economic recovery due to rising virus cases and absence of central bank's intervention.
India registered a record single-day spike of 1,26,789 new COVID-19 cases, pushing its infection tally to 1,29,28,574, while the number of active cases too went upwards to breach the nine lakh-mark again, Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday showed.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.06 per cent to 92.39.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading 0.51 per cent down at USD 62.84 per barrel.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 84.45 points or 0.17 per cent higher at 49,746.21, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced by 54.75 points or 0.37 per cent to 14,873.80.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 110.85 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data.nies foreign carrier permission to operate B737Max in India