The rupee pared its initial gains to close marginally down by 1 paisa at 74.88 against the US dollar on Tuesday due to worries that the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases could derail the economic recovery in the country.
At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened at 74.65 against the US dollar, but lost ground to close at 74.88 against the US dollar. During the session, the local unit witnessed an intra-day high of 74.64 and a low of 74.98 against the greenback.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.04 per cent to 91.03. Traders said the local unit ended in the red as investors were concerned that the surge in coronavirus infections could result in stricter lockdowns, which in turn could hamper the country's economic recovery.
India's total tally of COVID-19 cases climbed to 1,53,21,089 with 2,59,170 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, while active cases surpassed the 20-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. Registering a steady increase for the 41st day in a row, the active cases increased to 20,31,977, comprising 13.26 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 85.56 per cent.
On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex ended 243.62 points or 0.51 per cent lower at 47,705.80 and broader NSE Nifty fell 63.05 points or 0.44 per cent to 14,296.40.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Monday as they sold shares worth Rs 1,633.70 crore, as per exchange data. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, advanced 0.88 per cent to USD 67.64 per barrel.