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The rupee collapsed to a new lifetime low of 71.21 against the US dollar, while petrol prices rose to a new high of Rs 86.56 a litre in Mumbai on Monday. The rupee, which lost 10 paise against the US dollar in late afternoon trade on Monday, ended at a new record low of 71.10. The rupee’s previous record low was 71, marked on August 31.
In Delhi, the petrol prices touched Rs 79.15 per litre — increased by Rs 0.31 per litre. Monday’s figures breached the previous highs recorded on May 28 this year when the petrol prices were at Rs 86.24 in Mumbai and Rs 78.43 in Delhi.
Diesel, too, hit a new high of Rs 75.54/litre in Mumbai and Rs 71.15 per litre in Delhi on Monday. Since August 16, petrol prices have risen by over Rs 2 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.42 a litre. This is the steepest increase in fuel prices since the daily revision in fuel prices was introduced in mid-June 2017.
The fall in rupee could be attributed to the surge in global oil prices, with crude oil gaining USD 7 a barrel in a fortnight driven by fears over US-China trade war and the US sanctions on Iran contracting supplies.
The prices of CNG and piped natural gas (PNG) were also hiked in metro cities since the price of gas procured by city distributors is mostly dollar-denominated. In Delhi, Indraprastha Gas Ltd raised the prices of CNG by 63 paise per kg, costing Rs 42.60 per kg in Delhi and Rs 49.30 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. The prices of PNG were raised by Rs 1.11 per standard cubic meter, costing now at Rs 28.25 per scm, while same in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad would be Rs 30.10 per scm, which has been increased by Rs 1.26 per scm.
On Sunday, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had blamed “external factors” for the rise in domestic prices of petrol and diesel, but said the increase is temporary. “I would like to mention two points, and both these subjects are external. OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) had promised that it will raise production by one million barrels per day, which was not raised. “Apart from that, crises in countries like Venezuela and Iran are increasing. There is a pressure on oil prices due to a decrease in production. Secondly, global currencies have weakened against the US dollar,” he had said.
Sensex, Nifty tumble
Meanwhile, benchmark Sensex lost 332.55 points to end at 38,312.52 and the NSE Nifty dipped below the 11,600-level by losing 98.15 points to close at 11,582.35 Monday on rupee woes, PTI reported. Heavy losses in FMCG, realty, power, banking, auto, oil & gas, PSU, IT, tech, infrastructure and capital goods counters amid a global rout in accounted for the.
The 30-share Sensex had soared over 289 points to hit a high of 38,934.35 in early trade boosted by good first-quarter GDP data and recovery in rupee but gave up its gains completely following late sell-off, which dragged it down to a low of 38,270.01.
The broader NSE Nifty closed below the 10,600 mark by plunging by 98.15 points, or 0.84 per cent, at 11,582.35 after shuttling between 11,567.40 and 11,751.80.
(With PTI inputs)