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Re down 22 paise on dollar demand; falls for 2nd year in a row

Last Updated: Monday, December 31, 2012 - 18:45

Mumbai: The rupee on lost 22 paise to close at one-week low of 54.99 against the dollar due to month-end demand for the US currency from importers, ending calendar year 2012 with a total loss of 189 paise.

Forex dealers said a firm dollar overseas also weighed on the rupee.

The local currency commenced little higher at 54.76 from last close of 54.77 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market.

It, however, fell back to a low of 55 on renewed dollar demand from importers, mainly oil-refiners, to meet their month-end as well as quarter-end demands before settling at 54.99, a fall of 22 paise, or 0.40 percent.

The rupee fall on Monday was capped to some extent as foreign institutional investors pumped in over USD 150 million (Rs 826.34) crore into local stock markets, according to provisional BSE data.

"A fresh bout of volatility amid thinly traded volumes reversed the day long gains in rupee in the last half hour of the session," said Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India).

The dollar index was up by 0.12 percent against a basket of six major currencies.

"The US fiscal cliff woes continues to pressure the global markets lower as hardly 24 hours are left for the republicans and the democrats to iron out differences," he added.

In the current calender year, the rupee has tumbled by 189 paise, or 3.56 percent, from December 31, 2011 closing of 53.10. This is the second consecutive fall for the domestic currency on an annual basis.

HDFC Bank's chief forex dealer Ashtosh Raina expects the rupee to be range-bound and move in the 52-56 zone during 2013, but says it will also depend on efforts of the governments and policymakers in the US and Europe towards their economies.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex closed down by 18.13 points at 19,426.71.

The premium for the forward dollar recovered on fresh payments by banks and corporates.

The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in June rose to 173-1/2-175 paise from last Friday's close of 171-173-1/2 paise.

Far-forward contracts maturing in December also firmed up to 314-316 paise from 311-313 paise.

The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 54.7773 and for euro at 72.2605.

The rupee fell back against the pound sterling to 88.90 from last close of 88.31 and also turned negative to end at 72.51 per euro from 72.16.

It too dropped against the Japanese yen to 63.84 per 100 yen from previous close of 63.51.


First Published: Monday, December 31, 2012 - 18:45
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