Rupee rises 12 paise to 71.31 against US dollar

Rupee rises 12 paise to 71.31 against US dollar amid easing crude prices

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The Indian rupee on Tuesday appreciated by 12 paise to end at 71.31 against the US dollar as crude prices eased following concerns that oil demand will be hit amid rapid spread of coronavirus from China to other countries.

Forex traders said rupee is trading in a narrow range amid intensifying coronavirus scare. Moreover, heavy selling in domestic equities and strengthening of the American currency weighed on the domestic unit.

However, easing crude oil prices supported the rupee.

Benchmark Brent crude oil prices moderated to USD 58.67 per barrel, down 1.10 per cent. The fall in crude prices was attributed to expected demand slump over rising coronavirus cases in China.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 71.37. During the day, the local unit saw a high of 71.26 and a low of 71.41. The domestic unit finally settled at 71.33, up 10 paise from its previous close.

The rupee had settled at 71.43 against the American currency on Monday.

The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China has soared to 106, while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed, according to reports.

By the end of Monday, a total of 4,515 cumulative confirmed cases of the new pneumonia had been reported in Hubei, while 2,567 patients are hospitalised, with 563 in severe conditions and 127 in critical conditions, the Hubei Provincial Health Commission said on Tuesday.