The rupee slipped 16 paise to 68.24 against the US dollar in early trade today due to fresh buying of the American currency by importers amid sustained foreign fund outflows. Forex dealers said the dollar hovering near an 11-month high against a basket of currencies overseas, supported by a rise in US yields, also weighed on the rupee but a higher opening of the domestic equity markets limited the fall. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 2,442.61 crore yesterday, as per provisional data issued by stock exchanges. Yesterday, the local currency had staged a good comeback to end with a sharp gain of 30 paise at 68.08 against the US currency on heavy bouts of dollar selling by banks and exporters with equities gaining ground. Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex climbed 123.06 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 35,670.39 in opening trade.