The Indian unit opened weak at 43.08/09 against the greenback on negative Asian market sentiments and extended the losses following the downtrend in the local stock market. It hit an intra day low at 42.50 for a brief time in late-afternoon trade on high demand for dollars from the oil companies, as crude oil prices had hit a fresh record high at USD 143.67 per dollar.
The Indian rupee was holding at a fresh 15-month lows, as high global crude prices intensified concerns of a rising trade deficit, with a sharp fall in the stock market also weighing on the local unit, dealers said.
It seemed that in the absence of Reserve Bank's intervention, the local unit today fell sharply against the US currency and moreover the non deliverable fund (NDF) gap created a negative pressure on rupee, a senior dealer with a leading private bank said.
''The Indian unit is expected to be under pressure ahead due to negative market sentiments. However, it is likely to face lower support at the level of 43.25 as the RBI is expected to intervene in the future session to prevent its sharp fall,'' he added.
Meanwhile, the Indian stocks plunged heavily by over four percent today breaching the 14-month low levels. Sensex ended far below 13k level while Nifty tumbled below 4,000.
RBI today fixed the reference rate for US Dollar at Rs 43.27 per unit, inched up by 32 paise, from yesterday's close of 42.95 per USD.
The six-month and annualised premium was quoted further higher at 5.40 (5.02) per cent and 4.57 (4.20) per cent, respectively due to sustained demand of dollars from the oil companies.
However, Rupee ended the day weaker at 68.22 (67.64) per unit against Euro. It closed at 86.28 (85.52) per unit against the Pound Sterling and ended at 40.94 (40.62) per hundred units against the Japanese Yen.