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Indian rupee ends at two-week low against US dollar

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The Indian rupee slumped on Tuesday to close at a two-week low against the US dollar due to weakness in domestic equities and a strong dollar index.

The Indian unit closed at 75.43 a dollar–a level last seen on 1 July–down from its previous close of 75.20. It had opened at 75.34 and touched an intra-day high of 75.29 and a low of 75.50. Year to date, the Indian currency has shed 5.37%.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.1% to 96.56.

Sentiment was hit as data released showed that India’s June Consumer Price Index (CPI) has breached Reserve Bank of India’s tolerance band of 6%, traders said.

Retail inflation rose to 6.09% in June, mainly on account of higher prices of food items, government data had showed on Monday. Food inflation was at 7.87%.

At 02:B10 pm, the BSE benchmark Sensex fell 781.26 points to 35912.43, while the Nifty 50 was 1.7% at 10,622.75.

Foreign institutional investors have net sold $2.60 billion and $14.27 billion in equity and debt markets respectively since the beginning of 2020, while domestic institutional investors invested 86768.33 crore in stocks, according to data on the exchanges.

Brent crude futures were down 2.01% at $41.86 per barrel, providing a cushion to the rupee. India is one of the largest importers of crude oil and a fall in global prices helps keep the import bill in check.

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