The rupee depreciated 6 paise to 74.74 against the U.S. dollar in opening trade on Tuesday on strengthening American currency even as domestic equities started on a positive note.

Forex traders said, while firm start of the equity market and foreign fund inflows supported the rupee, factors like strong dollar, and rising COVID-19 cases dragged down the local unit.

The rupee opened weak at 74.74 at the interbank forex market, down 6 paise over its last close.

It had settled at 74.68 against the U.S. dollar on Monday.

“Cues from Asia remained firm as most currencies started with gains against the U.S. dollar, supported by hopes of quick recovery from the pandemic,” Reliance Securities said in a research note.

Rupee could witness further appreciation led by gains in equities due to foreign fund inflows and weak U.S. dollar, it added.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.04% to 96.75.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 109.07 points higher at 36,596.35 and broader NSE Nifty rose 14.40 points to 10,778.05.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth ₹348.35 crore on Monday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.39% to $42.93 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the number of cases around the world linked to COVID-19 has crossed 1.15 crore and the death toll has topped 5.37 lakh.

In India, the death toll due the disease rose to 20,160 and the number of infections crossed the 7 lakh-mark, according to the Health Ministry.

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