Mumbai, Aug 4 (PTI) The rupee depreciated 36 paise to 79.51 against the US dollar during Thursday’s trade open as disappointing macro data and US-China tensions weighed on sentiment investors.

On the interbank exchange, the rupee opened at 79.21 against the US dollar, then fell to 79.51, registering a drop of 36 paise on the last close.

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On Wednesday, the rupee tumbled 62 paise to close at 79.15 against the dollar, marking its worst single-day drop in the current financial year.

The dollar index, which measures the strength of the greenback against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.08% to 106.41.

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Forex traders said the rupee underperformed among Asian currencies amid a record trade deficit and safe-haven demand for the dollar as traders weigh the risks associated with US-China tensions.

India’s exports fell, albeit slightly, for the first time in 17 months in July, while the trade deficit tripled to a record $31 billion, fueled by an increase of more than 70% in crude oil imports.

Traders may also remain cautious ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy outcome on Friday.

Meanwhile, global benchmark Brent crude oil futures rose 0.24% to $97.01 a barrel.

On the domestic stock market front, the 30-stock Sensex traded 286.7 points or 0.49% higher at 58,637.23, while the broader NSE Nifty was up 80.50 points or 0, 46% to 17,468.65.

Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital market on Wednesday as they bought shares worth Rs 765.17 crore, according to exchange data.

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