In early trade on Monday, the rupee rose by 12 paise to 77.93 versus the US dollar, owing to lower crude oil prices. However, currency dealers claimed that unrelenting foreign money outflows, a lackluster trend in local stocks, and a strong US dollar overseas limited the gain.

The rupee began strongly at 77.98 versus the US dollar on the interbank foreign exchange, then inched higher to 77.93, a gain of 12 paise over the previous day.

The rupee gained 5 paise versus the US dollar in the previous session, settling at 78.05 cents. The dollar index, which measures the strength of the greenback against a basket of six currencies, dropped 0.30 percent to 104.38. Brent crude futures fell 0.26 percent to USD 112.83 a barrel, the global benchmark.

According to Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities, the Indian Rupee began marginally firmer versus the US dollar after crude oil prices fell the most in more than a month due to concerns about the demand outlook amid gloomy economic forecasts. Meanwhile, most Asian and developing market counterparts started the day slightly higher on Monday, bolstering the local currency.

The dollar, on the other hand, remained high, and ongoing portfolio outflows might limit the rupee’s appreciation bias, according to Iyer.

The 30-share Sensex was trading 85.22 points, or 0.17 percent, lower at 51,275.20, while the wider NSE Nifty was trading 39.35 points, or 0.26 percent, lower at 15,254.15. According to exchange statistics, foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday, offloading shares worth Rs 7,818.61 crore.

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