Mumbai: The rupee lost a hefty 42 paise to close at three-and-a-half-month low of 52.50/51 against the American currency on strong dollar demand from banks and importers amidst a sharp fall in equity markets.
The rupee resumed marginally lower at 52.09/10 per dollar and hovered in the range of 52 and Rs 52.58 against the dollar during the day. It closed at 52.50/51, lower by 42 paise from its previous close.
The last time local unit had ended at this level was on January 9, 2012.
Fresh demand for the American currency from banks and importers due to higher dollar in the overseas market mainly affected the rupee's value against the dollar.
The dollar index was up by 0.27 per cent in European market, while New York crude oil was trading above USD 103.07 a barrel.
India Forex Advisors CEO Abhishek Goenka said, "The key reason behind the weakness in rupee during the day was pick-up in purchases by the domestic oil importers."
In Sydney, the dollar index reclaimed some lost ground in the early trade, while in London, the euro retreated from two-week highs against the dollar.
Alpari Financial Services (India) CEO Pramit Brahmbhatt said, "The rupee weakened to over 15-week low on rising US dollar and falling equity markets."
Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex tumbled by 277 points to 17,096.68.
First Published: Monday, April 23, 2012, 10:18