Mumbai: Snapping its three-session gaining streak, the rupee on Wednesday lost 15 paise to close at 53.51 against the US dollar, on fresh demand for the American currency from importers.
Forex dealers said a firm dollar overseas also weighed on the rupee. However, sustained capital inflows capped rupee's fall to some extent, they added.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit resumed weak at 53.50 a dollar as against last close of 53.36.
It moved in a narrow range of 53.42-53.63 before ending at 53.51, showing a fall of 15 paise, or 0.28 percent from its previous close.
In the last three sessions, the local unit has risen by 106 paise, or 1.95 percent.
Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed lower by 62.24 points, or 0.33 percent, at 18,632.17.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their buying spree and they picked up shares worth USD 850.98 million yesterday, taking the total to almost USD 3.3 billion in the current month till September 25 and almost USD 15.59 billion in 2012 so far, as per Sebi data.
Renewed dollar from importers, mainly oil refiners, to meet their month-end needs put pressure on the rupee, dealers said.
"The demand from oil importers at lower level and risk aversion phenomenon in global markets weighed on the rupee. However, the strong commitment for policy reforms continued to cap such weaknesses," Alpari Financial Services (India) CEO Pramit Brahmbhatt said.
The dollar index was up by 0.22 pct against a basket of six major global currencies while the New York crude oil was trading below USD 91 a barrel in Europe today.
"The weakness in rupee was on account of gains in the dollar index after a better than expected economic data from the US which was released yesterday. Euro's fall in the last number of sessions is also contributing towards rupee bearish trend against the US dollar," Abhishek Goenka, founder and CEO, India Forex Advisors, said.
The premium for the forward dollar improved further on sustained payments by banks and corporates.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in February ended higher at 147-149 paise from 141-1/2-143-1/2 paise previously.
The premium for far-forward contracts maturing in August also hardened to 301-303 paise from 288-290 paise.
The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 53.5785 and for euro at 68.9390.
The rupee gained further against the pound sterling to 86.53 from Tuesday's close of 86.58 and also remained firm to 68.76 per euro from 68.99.
It, however, continued to rule weak against the Japanese yen to 68.91 per 100 yen from last close of 68.60.