The rupee depreciated by 18 paise to 69.89 against the US dollar in early trade Thursday amid heavy sell-off in domestic equity market and foreign fund outflows. Forex traders said, the US-China trade concerns also weighed on the domestic currency. The rupee opened weak at 69.70 at the interbank forex market and then fell further to 69.89, down 18 paise over its last close.
The rupee had settled at 69.71 against the US dollar Wednesday.
China has threatened to take retaliatory measures if US President Donald Trump raises tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of goods ahead of the crucial 11th round of talks aimed at ending the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
The talks are due to be held on May 9-10 in Washington between trade delegations headed by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
On the domestic front, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) pulled out Rs 645.08 crore on a net basis Wednesday, provisional data showed.
Domestic bourses opened on a negative note Thursday with benchmark indices Sensex trading 191.71 points down at 37,606.72 and Nifty down 54.60 points at 11,304.85.
Forex dealers said easing crude oil prices however supported the local unit and restricted the downfall.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.78 per cent to USD 69.82 per barrel.