Rupee ends at nearly 18 month low at 43.70/71 per USD

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Mumbai, Aug 20 (UNI) The Rupee today finished lower by ten paise to register an one and and half year low at 43.70 against the US dollar from 43.60, the previous day, due to heavy dollar selling pressure by Nationalised banks despite the nationwide bank strike.

Dealers said the Indian unit is on the verge of a recovery against the dollar as nationalized banks began dollar selling to help its cause.

''There was no major impact on daily volumes despite today's token day nationwide-strike by Indian and foreign banks,'' they pointed out.

Banks sold dollars between 43.85 and 43.75 in what dealers suspected was intervention on behalf of the central bank.

Earlier, the partially convertible rupee fell to 43.87 per dollar in early trade, its lowest since March 20, 2007. It fluctuated in wide range between 43.66 and 43.86 per dollar during the session, 0.3 percent weaker than Monday's close of 43.59/60. Tuesday was a central bank holiday.

The rupee has fallen 9.9 percent against the dollar since the start of the year as foreign investors have pulled funds out of the stock market.

The prospect of state bank action meant the rupee was unlikely to weaken back past 43.80 this session, and further gains in the stock market could help it towards 43.60 per dollar.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today fixed the reference rate for US dollar at Rs 43.72 per unit, up by 49 paise, against the previous rate of Rs 43.23 per dollar on Monday.

The six-month and annualised forward premium was quoted higher at 3.07 (2.92) per cent and 2.63(2.57) per cent, respectively.

The Rupee ended the day stronger at 64.43/44 (64.07/09) per unit against the Euro. It closed at 81.32/34 ( 81.38/40) per unit against the Pound Sterling. Rupee ended at 39.74/76 (39.50/52) per hundred units against the Japanese Yen.

UNI AR OBB VKG1912

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