Brent crude oil prices crossed the $65 per barrel mark for the first time in three months on Friday putting pressure on rupee which closed at 71.23 against the USD, down 0.1 per cent and the premier benchmark indices at BSE and National Stock Exchange falling by 0.2 per cent on Friday.
While a decline in Brent crude oil prices to levels of around $50 per barrel by the end of December 2018 had offered a big relief to rupee and the domestic currency strengthened to trade between 69 and 70 against the USD towards the December end and first week of January, a sharp rise in crude oil prices over the last one month has pushed the rupee back to levels of 71 against the dollar.
On Friday, the rupee fell for the third consecutive day and slipped to levels of 71.44 before closing at 71.23 against the dollar. It closed at 70.53 on Tuesday. Over the last three trading sessions rupee has lost 70 paise or 1 per cent against the dollar. In fact over the last four days Brent crude oil prices have risen almost 6 per cent from a level of $61.5 per barrel to over $65 per barrel on Friday.