The Indian rupee weakened by 21 paise to close at 75.20 against the US dollar on Friday, tracking lower equities as investors seemed moving away from riskier assets amid worries over mounting COVID-19 cases.

Further, the stronger US dollar against key rival currencies also put pressure on the domestic unit.

The dollar index, which measures the American currency’s strength against a basket of major currencies, was at 96.7910, up 0.09 per cent.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened weaker at 75.16 a dollar against the previous day’s close of 74.99.

During the session, it swung between a high of 75.12 and low of 75.33 before settling at 75.20, showing a loss of 21 paise.

On a weekly basis, the rupee logged a loss of 54 paise.

“The USD/INR spot respected the crucial support of 74.50 and bounced towards 75.30 zone mainly on coronavirus concerns and RBI intervention, Rahul Gupta, Head of Research- Currency, Emkay Global Financial Services, said.

Also, the fear that renewed lockdown may derail economic recovery all over the world led traders seek shelter of gold, which is a safe-haven asset, he added.

Global crude oil benchmark Brent Futures fell 1.79 per cent to USD 41.59 per barrel.

On the equity market front, the BSE benchmark Sensex was trading lower by 193 points at 36,544.62, while the NSE Nifty was down 57.15 points at 10,756.30 in late afternoon deals.

Meanwhile, India saw yet another record single-day jump of 26,506 COVID-19 cases pushing its tally to 7,93,802 on Friday.

The death toll climbed to 21,604, according to health ministry data.

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