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Rupee down 24p at 55.50 on fresh USD demand

PTI 24 Aug 2012, 18:31:38 IST
Mumbai, Aug 24: The rupee's four-day string of gains today came to an end as it weakened by 24 paise to close at 55.50 against the American currency on pent up dollar demand from oil importers after the two-day strike of PSU banks. 

The dollar's strong performance against major rivals ahead of a much-awaited meeting between the Greek Prime Minister and leaders of Germany and France today, also weighed on rupee.  However, sustained capital inflows to the tune of Rs 225 crore capped the rupee's decline to some extent, said traders. 

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit resumed lower at 55.35 a dollar from overnight close of 55.26 and immediately touched a high of 55.34.  But, the rupee turned negative in line with weakness in local stocks and logged an intra-day low of 55.55.  Fresh dollar demand was seen from importers, mainly oil refiners, after the two-day bank strike on August 22 and 23, said forex dealers.

The rupee finally settled at 55.50, a drop of 24 paise or 0.43 per cent compared to yesterday's close. In the previous four sessions, rupee had gained 49 paise or 0.88 per cent.  However, on a weekly basis, the rupee rose by 23 paise from last Friday's close of 55.73.

Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India) said,” The rupee maintained a weak note throughout the session after a lower start tracking strengths in dollar index which rebounded from its lows as the markets started discounting the US monetary easing expectations.”

The dollar index was up by 0.22 per cent against its six major rivals, while New York crude oil was trading below USD 96 a barrel in Europe today.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed down by 67.01 points at a one-week low.