Mumbai, June 24: The rupee took a sharp plunge of 96 paise against the US dollar to crash below the 68-level today as Britain's vote for leaving the European Union played havoc in global markets, but RBI intervention to infuse liquidity helped the local currency recoup some early losses.
The rupee was trading down by 58 paise at 67.83 against the American currency in late morning deals. Overseas, China's yuan fell to its weakest level against dollar in more than five years after Britain voted to leave the European Union, threatening the existence of the entire bloc and its single currency.
The British pound slumped more than 7 per cent against the dollar as turmoil came to the world markets. As the US dollar strengthened, oil prices reversed gains from overnight. Brent crude oil was last down 1.5 per cent at USD 50.16 a barrel.
Sustained bouts of dollar demand from importers amid weakness in other Asian currencies also weighed on the rupee, forex dealers said.
The Indian unit opened sharply lower by 63 paise at 67.88 against yesterday's closing level of 67.25 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market. It continued the slide and breached the 68-level to hit a low of 68.21 on heavy demand for the American currency from importers and foreign fund outflows as leads show 'Leave' camp ahead in 'Brexit' referendum vote.
However, rupee recovered partially to 67.83 on heavy selling of the greenback by banks and RBI intervened with liquidity support, still down by 58 paise. Meanwhile, the benchmark Sensex was cracked below the 26,000-mark by tumbling 1,003.36 points, or 3.71 per cent to 25,998.86 in late morning trades.