Mumbai, Dec 8: Extending losses for the third day in a row, the rupee today eased further by four paise to settle at 51.75/76 against the US currency following weakness in local stocks and sustained dollar demand from importers.
Firming dollar overseas too put pressure on the rupee while capital inflows capped the rupee fall to some extent, a dealer said.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit opened slightly lower at 51.75/76 a dollar from previous close of 51.71/72. It later moved in a range of 51.67 and 51.93 before concluding slightly lower at 51.75/76.
The BSE benchmark Sensex closed sharply lower by nearly 389 points, or 2.30 per cent, which mainly weighed on the rupee.
Continued dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, also kept the rupee under pressure.
The dollar index of six major currencies was up by nearly 0.04 per cent, as investors eyed a rate decision from the European Central Bank (ECB) later in the day, as well as the outcome of a summit of European leaders on the sovereign-debt crisis while New York crude oil was trading below USD 101 a barrel in European market today.
“Looking at the global scenario one can expect rupee to trade over 52.00 levels in coming days and the trading range for the rupee will be 51.40 and 52.00 tomorrow,” Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India) said.
FIIs, although were net buyers, but slowed down their purchases and they picked up shares worth USD 15.43 million yesterday, according to the Sebi data.
The rupee premium for the forward dollar recovered on fresh paying pressure from banks and corporates.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in May recovered to 126-128 paise from Wednesday's close of 121-123 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in November also rebounded to 208-210 paise from 198-200 paise previously.
The Reserve Bank fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at Rs 51.7780 and for the euro at Rs 69.4246.
The rupee remained weak against the pound sterling to end at Rs 81.25/27 from Wednesday's close of Rs 80.70/72 and also moved down further to Rs 69.29/31 per euro from Rs 69.19/21 previously.
It dropped further against the Japanese yen to Rs 66.90/92 per 100 yen from its last close of Rs 66.55/57.