MUMBAI: The rupee appreciated 11 paise to 74.17 against the US dollar in opening trade on Thursday, as easing crude oil prices and a weak American currency in the overseas markets boosted investor sentiments. However, selling pressure in the domestic equities capped the rupee’s gain, forex dealers said. At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened strong at 74.10 but weakened to quote 74.17 against the American dollar, a rise of 11 paise in the early session. On Wednesday, the rupee had closed at 74.28 against the US dollar. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, slipped 0.09 per cent to 95.74. Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures declined 0.52 per cent to USD 79.86 per barrel. On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share Sensex was trading 390.47 points or 0.65 per cent lower at 59,617.86, while the broader NSE Nifty declined 134.15 points or 0.75 per cent to 17,764.50. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 344.35 crore, as per exchange data.