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The Indian rupee appreciated by 41 paise to 76.05 against the US dollar in early trade on Monday tracking positive opening in domestic equities and weakening American currency in the overseas market. Forex traders said the uptick in the currency counter was largely because market participants expect more stimulus measures from top central banks to support their respective economies reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the interbank foreign exchange the rupee opened at 76.14, then gained ground and touched 76.05, registering a rise of 41 paise over its previous close. On Friday, the local unit had settled at 76.46 against the US dollar. "A positive start to the Asian equity markets could also support domestic equity markets and could lend support to local currency markets.
Asian equities started with marginal gains on Monday morning ahead of busy week on the data front and central bank meetings," Reliance Securities said in a research note. Meanwhile, investor sentiment remained fragile amid concerns over the impact of coronavirus pandemic on the domestic as well as global economy.
The number of cases around the world linked to COVID-19 has crossed over 29.91 lakh. In India, over 27,800 cases have been reported so far. Domestic stock exchanges opened on a positive note with benchmark indices Sensex trading 641.60 points higher at 31,968.82 and Nifty up by 183.95 points at 9,338.35.
Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold equity shares worth Rs 207.29 crore on Friday, according to provisional exchange data. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 1.82 per cent to USD 21.05 per barrel. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against the basket of six currencies was trading 0.40 per cent down at 99.97