Mumbai, Mar 22: The rupee today plunged by 50 paise to close at sub-51 level after more than two months against the dollar amid a steep fall in stocks as investor sentiment took a blow after allegations of massive losses to the government in coal blocks allocation.
The domestic unit opened lower at 50.75/76 a dollar from overnight close of 50.67/68 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market.
It touched a low of 51.27 before concluding at 51.17/18, lowest closing since January 16 when it had settled at 51.37/38, showing a fall of 0.99 per cent. In straight four trading days, it had slumped by 99 paise or 1.97 per cent.
Alpari Financial Services CEO Pramit Brahmbhaatt said, “The rupee continued to extend its loses over growing uncertainties in national and global markets. The key benchmark indices closed with sharp losses as Parliament was rocked following the reports of an alleged coal scam to the tune of Rs 10.67 lakh crore.
“The CAG has reportedly criticised the government for the allocation of 155 coal fields between 2004 and 2009 instead of auctioning them to the highest bidder.”
He further added that the local currency was also weighed down by the dollar demand for year-end and quarter-end payments by importers.”
Abhishek Goenka, CEO, India Forex Advisors, said, “The local unit was tracking the local ...We can see fresh outflows from the stock markets.
The rupee premium for the forward dollar dropped sharply on fresh receivings by exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in August settled lower at 167/169 paise from overnight close of 177-179 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in February ended sharply weak at 301-303 paise from 318-320 paise.
The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 50.9055 and for euro at 67.4035.
The rupee remained sluggish against the pound sterling to end at Rs 80.87/89 from yesterday's close of 80.36/38 and also moved down further against the euro to Rs 67.36/38 from Rs 67.08/10 previously.
It too dropped steeply against the Japanese yen to Rs 61.78/80 per 100 yen from last close of Rs 60.31/33.