Halting its three-day winning run, the rupee Friday closed 25 paise lower at 69.17 to the US dollar as forex traders weighed rising crude oil prices.
Besides, as forex dealers said, there was concern in the market after reports surfaced that the Supreme Court Friday restrained Arcelor Mittal from acquiring Essar Steel, which in turn might impact dollar inflows considering the Essar Steel acquisition was worth nearly USD 7 billion.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex), the domestic currency opened at 69.04 a dollar and fell further to touch the day’s low of 69.38. It finally settled at 69.17 per dollar, down 25 paise over its previous close.
The Indian rupee on Thursday had climbed 19 paise to close at 68.92 against the US dollar.
During the week, the rupee gained 6 paise.
While rising crude oil prices in overseas market added pressure to the domestic unit, sustained foreign fund inflows and heavy buying in domestic equity market restricted the fall in the local unit, analysts said.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net buyers in the capital markets, putting in Rs 897.45 crore on Friday, as per provisional data.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.32 per cent to 96.87.
Meanwhile, brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.10 per cent to trade at USD 71.61 per barrel.
Equity benchmarks closed in the positive territory on Friday. The 30-share BSE Sensex finally settled 160.10 points, or 0.41 per cent, higher at 38,767.11. The broader NSE Nifty rose 46.75 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 11,643.45.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 69.3240 and for rupee/euro at 78.2335. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 90.5589 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 61.99.