Mumbai, Mar 29 (PTI) The rupee declined 18 paise to close at 82.34 against the US dollar on Wednesday amid a rise in crude prices and a firm greenback in the overseas market.

However, a strong sentiment in domestic equities and fresh foreign fund inflows restricted a sharp fall of the local currency, according to forex traders.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic unit opened sharply lower at 82.26 and touched an intra-day high of 82.23 and a low of 82.37 against the greenback.

It finally ended at 82.34, registering a fall of 18 paise over its previous close of 82.16.

“Rupee continued to quote in a narrow range and volatility remained following a lack of cues on the domestic and global front. The pound gained after the BoE governor mentioned that the central bank will continue to focus on the fight against inflation.

“We expect the USDINR(Spot) to trade sideways and quote in the range of 82.20 and 82.60,” said Gaurang Somaiya, Forex & Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, gained 0.02 per cent to 102.13.

“The momentum in crude prices has taken a positive rally in 3 consecutive sessions which have given rupee weakness. Rupee range can be seen in a volatile range between 82.20-82-75,” said Jateen Trivedi, VP Research Analyst at LKP Securities.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE Sensex rose 346.37 points or 0.60 per cent to end at 57,960.09 points while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 129 points or 0.76 per cent to 17,080.70 points.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.94 per cent to USD 79.39 per barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) turned net buyers in the capital market on Wednesday as they bought shares worth Rs 1,245.39 crore, as per exchange data.

Forex markets will remain closed on Thursday for Ram Navami.

By editor

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