Mumbai, Nov 25: The rupee today weakened by 19 paise to close at 52.25/26 against the dollar following fresh demand for the US currency from importers and weak equity markets.
Increased capital outflows as well as firm dollar overseas kept the rupee under pressure.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit opened lower at 52.15/16 a dollar from previous close of 52.06/07.
It immediately touched a high of 52.06 on late morning recovery in stocks amid expectations of intrusion by the central bank and government's efforts to encourage foreign investments by liberalising some proposals.
However, it dropped to an intra-day low of 52.46 on late sell-off in equities amid fresh dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, to meet their month-end needs.
The BSE benchmark Sensex today closed lower by over 163 points or 1.03 per cent.
FIIs pulled out over USD 1 billion in last eight days since November 15, which also weighed on the rupee.
Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India) said, “Looking at the strong dollar, one can expect rupee to trade near 53.00 levels in coming days and the trading range for the USD/INR will be 52.20 to 52.70 tomorrow,” he added.
The dollar index, consisting of six major currencies, was up by nearly 0.5 per cent while New York crude oil was trading above USD 95 a barrel in European market today. The euro dipped to a fresh seven-week low against the dollar, with markets seeing no end in sight to the euro zone debt crisis.
“We have seen that RBI has taken steps to increase the interest rates for deposits by non-resident Indians and easing corporate' overseas borrowing rules have offered a much-needed relief for the rupee, but it didn't help rupee much,” Abhishek Goenka, CEO, India Forex Advisors said.
“We have seen rupee hovering to just one end, we can see a technical correction of around 51.50 - 51.60 levels, but the trend is still bullish for dollar in coming months,” he added.
The rupee premium for the forward dollar dropped on fresh receivings by exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in April dipped to 83-86 paise from Thursday's level of 91-93 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in October also ended weak at 139-142 paise from 151-1/2-153-1/2 paise previously.
The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at Rs 52.1665 and for the euro at Rs 69.4263.
The rupee moved up further slightly against the pound sterling to end at Rs 80.82/84 from yesterday's close of Rs 80.88/90 and also remained firm to settle at Rs 69.14/16 per euro from Rs 69.66/68 previously.
It improved against the Japanese yen to Rs 67.45/47 per 100 yen from last close of Rs 67.58/60.