The rupee pared initial gains to settle lower by 2 paise at 81.80 (provisional) against the US dollar on Monday, tracking a recovery in crude oil prices.

Forex traders said the rupee consolidated in a narrow range as the gains from weak American currency and positive domestic equities were negated by a recovery in crude oil prices.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the local unit opened on a positive note at 81.76 but pared early gains to settle 2 paise lower at 81.80 against the US dollar despite a firm trend in domestic equities.

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During the day, the rupee touched a high of 81.70 and a low of 81.82 against the American currency.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.07 per cent to 101.13. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, advanced 1.93 per cent to USD 76.75 per barrel.

The rupee depreciated today on a sharp recovery in crude oil prices. However, the weak US Dollar and positive domestic equities cushioned the downside, said Anuj Choudhary – Research Analyst at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.

The US dollar declined amid renewed concerns over the banking sector.

“We expect the rupee to trade with a slight positive bias on the rise in risk appetite in global markets and the weak US dollar. FIIs have remained net buyers over the past seven consecutive sessions.

“However, recovery at crude oil prices may cap sharp upside. Investors may remain cautious ahead of inflation data from India and the US later this week. We expect USD/INR spot to trade in between 81.20 to 82.20 in the near term,” Choudhary said.

In the domestic equity market, the 30-share BSE Sensex advanced 709.96 points or 1.16 per cent to close at 61,764.25. The broader NSE Nifty rose 195.40 points or 1.08 per cent to settle at 18,264.40.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital market on Friday, as they purchased shares worth Rs 777.68 crore, according to exchange data.

Meanwhile, India’s foreign exchange reserves jumped USD 4.532 billion to USD 588.78 billion for the week ended April 28, the Reserve Bank of India said on Friday. The overall reserves had dropped USD 2.164 billion to USD 584.248 billion in the previous week.

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