The rupee appreciated 4 paise to 77.62 against the US dollar in opening trade on Monday, supported by a weak American currency in the overseas markets. However, muted domestic equities, elevated crude oil prices and persistent foreign fund outflows restricted the rupee's rise, forex traders said. At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened slightly strong at 77.65 against the American dollar and gained further momentum to quote 77.62, registering a rise of 4 paise from the last close. In the previous session, the rupee had settled at 77.66 against the US dollar. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.04 per cent lower at 102.10. Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.79 per cent to USD 120.66 per barrel. On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share Sensex was trading 106.93 points or 0.19 per cent lower at 55,662.30 points, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 26.35 points or 0.16 per cent to 16,557.95. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 3,770.51 crore, as per stock exchange data. With rising inflation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to increase the benchmark lending rate during its monetary policy review meeting this week.
The central bank may go for at least 35 basis points (bps) hike over and above the 40 bps hike effected last month after an off-cycle Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.