Mumbai, Nov 16: The rupee today touched 51-level after a gap of 32 months but closed at 50.74/75 against the US currency on persistent dollar demand from banks and importers in view of the strong dollar overseas.
The rupee resumed lower at 50.90/91 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, as against previous closing level of 50.67/68 a dollar. It dropped further to 32-month low to 51.01 a dollar, before ending at 50.74/75 a dollar, down by 7 paise over the last close.
The rupee had last touched 51.20 per dollar on March 31, 2009.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said RBI is monitoring the situation and will intervene in the forex market “as and when necessary”.
“As RBI has already mentioned, it is watching the situation. As and when it is necessary, they will intervene,” Mukherjee said.
RBI Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn had yesterday said, “We intervene when there is a very strong movement in a particular direction or extreme volatility and the objective is to smooth that volatility and not fix a rate.”
The rupee has depreciated about 11 per cent so far in 2011 and is the fourth most depreciated currency in the world.
Sustained dollar demand from banks and importers on the back of higher dollar in the overseas market mainly affected the rupee value against the dollar, a dealer said.
The US dollar gained and the euro slumped yesterday in the New York market, which impacted the rupee sentiment.
The BSE benchmark Sensex ended lower by 107 points or 0.63 per cent.
The dollar index was up by over 0.03 per cent against a basket of currencies while global crude oil was trading above USD 99 a barrel in European market today.
Most emerging Asian currencies have suffered from the eurozone's debt crisis. “The rupee has been the worst performer among emerging Asian currencies so far this year,” Abhishek Goenka, CEO, India Forex Advisors said.
The rupee premium for the forward dollar finished lower on fresh receivings by exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in April closed down at 110-112 paise from yesterday's close of 115-117 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in October also ended lower at 178-180 paise from 183-185 paise previously.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at Rs 50.9010 and for the euro at Rs 68.4750.
The rupee recovered against the pound sterling to end at Rs 80.03/05 from Rs 80.38/40 yesterday and rose against the Japanese yen to Rs 65.53/55 per 100 yen from overnight closing level of Rs 65.83/85.
However, it moved up further to close at Rs 68.31/33 per euro from Rs 68.49/51.