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Rupee tanks 95 paise, falls below 76 level against US dollar amid coronavirus scare

MUMBAI: The Indian rupee slipped further by 95 paise to 76.15 against the US dollar in opening trade on Monday amid sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the country and heavy selling in domestic equities.

Forex traders said market participants are concerned that the sharp rise in coronavirus cases, with nearly 400 cases in the country, could weigh on the economy.

The rupee which opened on a weak note at 75.90 at the interbank forex market, lost further ground and touched a low of 76.15 against the US dollar, registering a decline of over 95 paise over its last close.

The local unit had settled at 75.20 against the US dollar on Friday.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 390, according to the Union Health Ministry.

Traders said there is a sense of anxiety among investors as they see the global as well as domestic economy plunging into a deep crisis due to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that has killed over 14,000 and sickened lakhs of people around the globe.

Moreover, the steep decline in domestic equities and sustained foreign fund outflows further dampened the sentiment, they said.

Foreign investors remained net sellers in Indian capital markets as they pulled out more than Rs 3,345.95 crore on Friday, market data showed.

Domestic bourses were trading on a negative note on Monday with benchmark indices Sensex trading 2,386.27 points down at 27,529.69 and Nifty fell 767.50 points to 7,977.95.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 2.74 per cent to USD 26.24 per barrel.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback''s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.52 per cent to 102.28.

The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.31 per cent in morning trade. 

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