India: The rupee declined 81 paisa to 76.98 against the US dollar in opening trade on Monday as intensifying geopolitical risks due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict pushed investors to the safe-haven appeal of the greenback. Forex traders said escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine kept crude oil prices at an elevated level and heightened worries about domestic inflation and wider trade deficits.
Besides, sustained foreign fund outflows and a lacklustre trend in domestic equities also weighed on investor sentiment. At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 76.85 against the US dollar, then slipped further to 76.98, registering a decline of 81 paise from the last close.
On Friday, the rupee fell by 23 paise to close at 76.17 against the US dollar, the lowest closing level since December 15, 2021. Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.29 per cent to 98.93.