The Indian currency continued its downward slide on the back of rising crude oil prices and heavy demand for US dollars.

In morning trade on Friday at the interbank foreign exchange market, the Indian rupee broke the 71 mark for the first time, after opening at a fresh record low of 70.95 per dollar, versus previous close 70.74.

On Thursday the rupee ended at a fresh lifetime low of 70.74 due to month-end demand for the US currency from importers and rising crude oil prices. It was also weighed down by weakness in Asian currencies.

The Indian currency has come under pressure in the last few sessions following dollar demand by companies selling oil and defense-related buying. Growing fear about rising inflation due to high crude prices is also adding to the currency’s woes.

With a fall of 9.9%, the rupee is worst performing Asian currency on a year-to-date basis. It has fallen 3.3% in August, the highest among Asian peers.