Rupee closes at five-week low on rise in dollar demand

 PTI   Mumbai     Last Updated: January 6, 2014  | 20:18 IST
Rupee closes at five-week low on rise in dollar demand

The rupee fell 15 paise to close at a five-week low of 62.31 against the dollar on Monday, amid bearish local stocks and importer demand for the US currency.

Capital outflows from the equity market aided the rupee's decline, while a weakening dollar overseas helped the rupee to come off the day's low, a forex dealer said.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee resumed sharply lower at 62.35 a dollar from the previous close of 62.16. It moved in a range of 62.24 to 62.4650 on alternate bouts of demand and supply.

The rupee closed at 62.31, a fall of 15 paise or 0.24 per cent. This was the lowest level for the rupee since closing at 62.36 on December 3.

"It started the session on a weaker note today, tracking a strong dollar index and weak Asian currencies. Additionally, a falling euro seemed to have added pressure on the rupee. US dollar has strengthened against overseas currencies on upbeat outlook by the US central bank," said Abhishek Goenka, CEO of India Forex Advisors.

The HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers Index for India's services industry fell to 46.7 in December from 47.2 in November as new orders declined. It was the sixth consecutive monthly decline in output and the longest period of continuous reduction since the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.

The benchmark 30-share S&P BSE Sensex continued its slide for the fourth straight session and closed 64 points lower.

Overseas investors sold a net Rs 318.91 crore of shares on Monday after net sales of Rs 18.06 crore last Friday, as per provisional data.

"The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, is trading weak for the day, which helped the rupee to recover from its intra-day low," said Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO of Alpari Financial Services (India). "During the day it depreciated almost half per cent, taking cues from local equities which traded weak and closed down."

Continued receipts by exporters kept forward dollar premiums under pressure.

The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in June eased to 246-248 paise from the previous close of 247-249 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in December softened to 485-487 from 486-488 paise.

The RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 62.3265 and for the euro at 84.6151.

The rupee improved to 102.06 against the pound from 102.33 last weekend and closed a tad lower at 84.80 per euro from 84.79. It remained weak at 59.59 per 100 Japanese yen from 59.51.

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