Rupee down by 75 paise at 46.55 per USD at the week-end

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Mumbai, Sep 27 (UNI) The rupee suffered a setback by 75 paise to settle lower at 46.55 against US dollar at the week-ended yesterday, as compared to 45.80 the previous week, on sustained demand for the dollars amidst a meltdown in global stock markets.

Dealers said ''Oil refiners and foreign banks continued with their hectic dollar buying of the last few days amidst continuing uncertainty over the 700 billion dollar package to rescue the shattered US financial markets. The US currency was much in demand, even as it weakened against the yen and the euro in Asian markets.'' Forex dealers said the rupee remained under pressure as oil refiners stepped up dollar purchases for their month-end import payments, even as global crude oil prices traded below USD 107 a barrel in the Asian markets this morning.

They said a sharp slide in equity markets across Asia also weighed on the rupee sentiment.

The domestic currency weakened in early trade due to dollar demand from companies to repay overseas loans amid low volumes but expectations of central bank intervention kept a check on sharp fall.

The partially-convertible rupee opened firm at 45.52 on Monday.

During the week, it fluctuated in a wide range between 45.25 and 46.60 per dollar. Volumes were, however, very thin due to a two-day strike by the state-run bank employees on Wednesday and Thursday, they added.

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