Mumbai: The rupee marked its biggest weekly fall in over four months on Friday, tracking steep declines in local shares and broad dollar strength as the slump in crude oil prices raised concerns about the global economy.
The benchmark Sensex fell for a fifth session in six on Friday to post its worst weekly loss in three years as foreign investors sold $141.5 million worth of shares in the last three sessions, regulatory data showed.
Caution also prevailed ahead of consumer inflation data, which showed retail inflation in November eased to a record low of 4.38 per cent from 5.52 per cent in October. (Read more)
Analysts had expected retail prices to have risen 4.5 per cent, the lowest advance since the data was released in 2012, which would reinforce expectations of early rate cuts next year.
The falls in the rupee likely prompted intervention from the Reserve Bank of India, traders said.
“Rupee’s bias would remain towards slow depreciation. Weak equities due to slumping crude opens the possibility of 63 plus on the unit in the near term,” said Anindya Banerjee, currency research analyst at Kotak Securities.
The partially convertible rupee closed higher at 62.29/30 per dollar, after falling to as low as 62.5050, a level last seen on February 6. It had closed at 62.33/34 on Thursday.
The rupee fell 0.82 per cent over the week to mark its worst weekly fall since August 1.
The dollar stayed firm against most of its major peers on Friday, thanks in part to upbeat US retail sales data.
Meanwhile, Brent crude slipped on Friday to below $63 a barrel, its lowest since July 2009, on persistent concerns over a global supply glut and a sluggish demand outlook.
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the one-month contract was at 62.58, while the three-month was at 63.11.
($1 = 62.3550 rupees)