The rupee depreciated 25 paise to close at 68.69 against the US dollar on Friday amid rising crude oil prices and unabated foreign fund outflows. Forex traders said the rupee traded in a narrow range ahead of the release of retail inflation and factory output data.
Cautious trading in the domestic equity markets also weighed on the local unit. However, weakening of the greenback vis-a-vis other currencies overseas supported the rupee to some extent, they added.
At the interbank foreign exchange (forex) market, the domestic currency opened at 68.48 per dollar, but lost ground during the day and finally settled at 68.69, down 25 paise over its previous close.
The rupee had settled at 68.44 against the US dollar on Thursday. The local currency lost 27 paise on a weekly basis. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, climbed 0.44 per cent to USD 66.81 per barrel.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.08 per cent to 96.97. Meanwhile, the 10-year government bond yield was at 6.49 per cent on Friday.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 316.86 crore Thursday, provisional data showed. Domestic equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty ended on a negative note after a highly volatile session Friday.
After swinging 337 points during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 86.88 points or 0.22 per cent lower at 38,736.23. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty dropped 30.40 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 11,552.50. On the global front, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank is prepared to cut interest rates to support the economy.
"Uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the US economic outlook," Powell said in his opening comments to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 68.3665 and for rupee/euro at 77.0436. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 85.6541 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 63.32.