Mumbai: Snapping two-day gaining string, the rupee Monday lost six paise to end at 53.77 against the dollar, due to fresh demand for the US currency from importers despite firm local equities and persistent capital inflows.
Forex dealers said slight weakness in dollar overseas capped the rupee's losses to some extent.
The local unit opened a tad lower at 53.72 against the dollar from its Friday's close of 53.71 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market.
However, it recovered to a high of 53.63 on the back of rally in local stocks and initial dollar selling by exporters, before falling to a low of 53.96 on dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners.
It recovered some ground at the fag end to settle at 53.77, a fall of six paise, or 0.11 percent. In last two sessions, it had firmed up by 98 paise, or 1.79 percent.
"After witnessing sharp gains in the last two consecutive sessions, rupee started depreciating against the US dollar. Weak euro ahead of the euro-zone meeting and dollar index trading above 80.00 level have contributed to the weakness in rupee," said Abhishek Goenka (Founder & CEO, India Forex Advisors).
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) pumped in USD 156.7 million into local equities Monday, according to provisional BSE data.
The BSE 30-stock index, Sensex, improved further by 62.78 points to 20,101.82.
The dollar index was trading nearly flat against a basket of six major global currencies a day before the Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced the outcome of its policy meeting.
The premium for the forward dollar also fell back on fresh receivings by exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in June eased to 161-163 paise from last weekend's close of 163-165 paise.
Far-forward contracts maturing in December also dropped to 316-318 paise from 321-1/2-323-1/2 paise.
The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 53.8735 and for euro at 71.7760.
The rupee remained firm against the pound sterling to end at 85.34 from last Friday's close of 85.63 and also improved further against the euro to 71.51 from 71.75.
It, however, turned negative against the Japanese yen to settle at 60.07 per 100 yen from last close of 59.81.