The Indian rupee fell on Tuesday as elevated U.S. Treasury yields and broad strength in the greenback weighed on Asian currencies.
However, likely intervention by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) helped the local unit stay away from lifetime lows.
The rupee was at 83.20 against the U.S. dollar as of 11:15 a.m. IST compared with a close of 83.04 in the previous session.
The RBI likely sold dollars in the non-deliverable forwards market, before the spot market opened, five traders said.
"They (RBI) are likely to keep supplying dollars to limit moves to 83.24-83.25 levels," a foreign exchange trader at a private bank said.
Dollar sales from foreign banks, related to custodial flows, could also support the rupee, traders said.
With the rupee hovering close to its record low levels over the last few weeks, the RBI has likely been intervening in non-deliverable forwards to stem the pressure on the local unit.
The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose to 4.70%, its highest level since October 2007, on Tuesday, amid expectation that U.S. interest rates will stay higher for longer.
The dollar index climbed to 107.19, the highest since November 2022. The Thai baht and Indonesian rupiah lead losses in Asia.
Short positions on the rupee have firmed to their highest since November 2022, according to a Reuters poll.
"It's a bit puzzling what the RBI is doing now," said Anindya Banerjee, head of foreign exchange research at Kotak Securities, referring to the central bank's defence of the currency, despite its relative outperformance in Asia.
Dollar buying pressure is likely to mount quickly once the record low of 83.29, hit in October 2022, is breached, according to Banerjee.
Investors await U.S. labour market data and the RBI's monetary policy decision due later this week. The RBI is expected to keep benchmark policy rates unchanged. (Reporting by Jaspreet Kalra; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)