MUMBAI: The rupee depreciated 36 paise to 79.51 against the US dollar in opening trade on Thursday, as disappointing macroeconomic data and US-China tensions weighed on investor sentiment.
At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 79.21 against the US dollar, then fell to 79.51, registering a decline of 36 paise over the last close.
On Wednesday, the rupee slumped by 62 paise to close at 79.15 against the dollar, marking its worst single-day fall in the current fiscal year.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.08 percent to 106.41.
Forex traders said the rupee is underperforming among Asian currencies amid a record high trade deficit number and safe-haven demand for the dollar as traders weigh risks associated with the US-China tensions.
India's exports dipped, though marginally, for the first time in 17 months in July, while the trade deficit tripled to a record USD 31 billion, fuelled by over a 70 percent rise in crude oil imports.
Traders may also remain cautious ahead of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) monetary policy outcome on Friday.
Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 0.24 percent to USD 97.01 per barrel.
On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share Sensex was trading 286.7 points or 0.49 percent higher at 58,637.23, while the broader NSE Nifty was up 80.50 points or 0.46 percent to 17,468.65.
Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital market on Wednesday as they purchased shares worth Rs 765.17 crore, as per exchange data.