The rupee declined 18 paise to close at 74.36 against the US dollar on Wednesday, tracking strengthening American currency in the overseas market and higher crude prices. However, a strong rally in domestic equities and unabated foreign fund inflows restricted the slide of the domestic unit, forex traders said.At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened on a weak note at 74.24 and swung between the day’s high of 74.18 and low of 74.50 to the US dollar. The rupee finally settled at 74.36 against the greenback, down 18 paise over its last close. In the previous session, it had settled at 74.18 against the US dollar. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.15% to 92.87. Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, spiked 3.26% to USD 45.03 per barrel.“Indian rupee depreciated amid strong dollar and surge in crude oil prices. Further, rupee slipped on worries over a slowdown in global economic recovery due to resurgence in COVID-19 cases.” Further, market remained cautious ahead of key macro-economic data like CPI and IIP… “Rupee may trade in a range of 73.80 to 74.80 in next couple of sessions,” Saif Mukadam, Research Analyst, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, said. After touching its all-time peak of 43,708.47 during the session, BSE Sensex settled 316.02 points or 0.73% higher at 43,593.67. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty touched a fresh intra-day high of 12,769.75. It finished 118.05 points or 0.93% up at its closing record of 12,749.15. Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth ₹ 5,627.32 crore on Tuesday, according to provisional exchange data.“India CPI data is likely to show that Inflation remained above the Reserve Bank of India medium-term target range of 2-6%. India’s Industrial Production data forecasted to show factory output contracted for 7 consecutive months,” Mr. Mukadam said.