Rupee falls below 63 a dollar as FIIs offload stocks worth Rs60 cr on Thursday

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth of Rs60 crore on Thursday, ending a 32-day buying streak and hammering the rupee to levels above 63 to a dollar.

FIIs sold shares for a net Rs59.8 crore on Thursday against their 32-day buying total of Rs23,884 crore, stock exchange and SEBI data showed.

The rupee was trading at 63.02/63.04 in afternoon trading on the interbank foreign exchange market today against its previous day's close of 62.93/94.

This, along with continued dollar demand from state-run oil marketing companies firmed up the US currency further.

A rally in the US and Japanese stock markets also fuelled speculation of FIIs shifting away from emerging markets to developed markets.

The forex market has also been influenced by India's rising twin deficits – domestic and external – and the impending withdrawal of the tapering of the quantitative easing by the US Federal Reserve.

FIIs also sold index futures worth Rs1,189 crore on Thursday and stock futures worth Rs919 crore over the previous three sessions.

Some traders cited heavy basket selling (sales of entire batches of shares) by foreign investors in the Nifty over the last two sessions, which pulled down the index by 3.3 per cent, marking its lowest close in a week.

FIIs have pumped a net $6 billion into cash shares since late August, helping the Sensex hit a record high on 3 November.

The broader NSE share index Nifty had recovered from its biggest single-day percentage fall in nearly two months, and gained 0.5 per cent on Thursday, putting breaks on a dollar rally.