Rs slides by 26p to 15-month low against $
Mumbai: The rupee on Monday crashed below the 67-mark to close at a 15-month low of 67.13 against the US currency following a surging demand for the dollar as crude oil prices zoomed past $75 per barrel level.
Huge dollar purchases by oil importing companies along with speculative activity largely weighed on the rupee, a currency dealer said.
The rupee drifted sharply to a low of 67.18 in late afternoon-deals before concluding at 67.13, revealing a steep loss of 26 paise, or 0.39 per cent.
This is the lowest level for the Indian unit since February 8, 2017 when it had ended at 67.19 against the US dollar. The Indian currency has been the worst performer this year so far, losing 5.10 per cent since January. A sudden flare-up in global crude prices rattled the forex market sentiment in a big way stoking concerns over widening trade deficit and higher capital outflows.
India being a net crude oil importer, a sharp rise in prices can affect the import bill and disrupt the fiscal position, a forex dealer commented.
Oil jumped to its highest levels since late-2014 on Monday to cross the significant $75 a barrel tag boosted by Venezuela's deepening economic crisis and a looming decision on whether the United States will re-impose sanctions on Iran or not.
Brent crude, an international benchmark, was trading at $75.57 a barrel in early Asian trade. The RBI, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 67.1060 and for the euro at 80.1179. Meanwhile, government bonds rallied after the central bank said it will purchase debt to meet the cash needs of the banking system.