The rupee on Tuesday opened 9 paise down at 73.49 against the US dollar tracking weakness in the domestic equity market.

The local currency on Monday consolidated in a narrow range in the first half of the previous session but was weighed down in the latter half following sharp weakness in domestic and global equities. However, the domestic unit strengthened over 8 paise to 73.40 against the dollar on Monday.

Major global equity indices were weighed down after media reports that HSBC and Standard Chartered and other banks, including Barclays and Deutsche Bank, moved large sums of allegedly illicit funds over nearly two decades despite red flags about the origins of the money.This disturbed the overall sentiment of the market and led to safe-haven buying in the dollar.

For today, brokerage Motilal Oswal Financial Services expects USDINR (Spot) to quote in the range of 73.20 and 73.80.

The US dollar rose to the highest level in a month in yesterday’s session primarily on the back of safe-haven buying after global banks faced a fresh scandal about dirty money.

“Greenback extended gains on concerns over renewed lockdown measures in Europe and Britain following an increased number of Covid cases,” Motilal Oswal said.

Market participants also remained cautious following the United States’ inability to agree on a fiscal stimulus that would support millions of unemployed.

On Tuesday, the focus will be on the Fed Chairman’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.