Rupee ends lower at 47.94 per US dollar

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Mumbai,Oct 7 (UNI) The Rupee clawed back some of its losses today after dropping to its lowest since December 2002 and ended lower at 47.94 against the US dollar with a small loss of 12 paise from its last close of 47.82 due to weak Asian currencies and a fall in the local stock market.

The partially convertible Rupee resumed negative at 48.02 and later fluctuated in wide range between 47.74 and 48.18 per dollar during the session, ending at 47.92/94 per dollar, 0.2 percent weaker than 47.80/82 at the previous day's close.

The rupee fell to as low as 48.17 during the session, its lowest since Dec 16, 2002, according to a leading dealer. ''The rupee is under pressure because of the global scenario, dollar shortage, and weak equity outlook among other things,'' he added.

''But the rupee recovered from the lows as some banks were selling dollars in the spot market and buying it in the forwards,'' he added.

Overnight forward rates, which were quoting at a premium earlier in the session, were at a discount of 0.03 rupees at the close of the trading session, after sentiment was undermined by the dollar's strength overseas.

The rupee is likely to remain under pressure in the near term and could test 49 to the dollar in about a month, with the central bank not expected to aggressively defend the unit at any particular level, dealers said.

Volumes in the currency futures market on the National Stock Exchange of India crossed a record 100,000 contracts on Tuesday with the near-term contract closing at 48.0050 to the dollar.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today fixed the reference rate for US dollar at Rs 48.01 per unit, up by 55 paise, against yesterday's rate of Rs 47.46 per dollar. The reference rate for Euro also rose by 74 paise at Rs 65.20 per unit from yesterday's rate of Rs 64.46 per unit, a RBI release stated.

However, the six-month and annualised forward dollar premium were at discount below 0.08 (0.04) per cent and 0.20 (0.03) per cent respectively.

The rupee weakened since the last couple of days at 65.2/04 (65.06/08) per unit against the Euro. It closed at 83.74/76 (84.18/20) per unit against the Pound Sterling and at 46.88/90 (46.33/35) per hundred units against the Japanese Yen.

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