The Indian rupee closed at its lowest in nearly 19 months on Wednesday as oil prices rose and concerns over the tariff war between the United States and China remained. The currency has declined nearly 70 paise this week so far. It closed at 68.61 to a US dollar on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the rupee fell to 68.68 per dollar, the lowest since November 29, 2016, BTVi reported. It had closed at 68.25 on Tuesday.

The price of Brent crude oil rose 30 cents a barrel to $76.61 on Wednesday afternoon, Reuters reported. Higher crude oil prices weaken the rupee as India imports most of the oil it needs. A rise in prices can result in inflation and widen the current account deficit.

On Tuesday, the United States insisted its allies, including India, should end all imports of crude oil from Iran by November 4 when sanctions against Iran come into effect again. A State Department official said countries would be subject to sanctions if oil imports from Iran are not cut to zero. The threat means crude oil prices may rise in the coming months as the supply from Iran tightens.

The BSE Sensex closed 272.93 points lower at 35,217.11, while the Nifty 50 ended the day nearly 1% down at 10,671.40.