Rupee sees biggest fall at 49.32 per US dollar since Feb 1996

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Mumbai, Nov 12 (UNI) The Rupee today registered its biggest single day fall by Rs 1.20 since February 1996 to settle lower at 49.32 against the US dollar on heavy buying support in dollars by foreign banks in view of major losses on the Indian bourses.

The partially convertible Rupee resumed weak at 48.52 and later fluctuated in a wide range between 48.45 and Rs 49.40 per dollar in intra day trade, closing at 49.30/32 per dollar, compared with 48.12 at close yesterday. On October 27, it fell to a record low of 50.29.

The Benchmark share index was down more than 4 percent, tracking weaker Asian markets after gloomy news from US corporates knocked US stocks lower and fanned worries of a deep global recession, a leading forex dealer said.

Foreign funds have so far sold a net USD 12.6 billion worth of shares after buying a record USD 17.4 billion last year. Oil, India's biggest import, was trading below USD 59 per barrel, after closing below USD 60 per barrel mark on Tuesday for the first time since March 2007. Dealers said they expect the central bank to step up dollar sales if the rupee falls too steeply.

However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at Rs 48.79 per unit, up by Re 1.20 paise, against its yesterday's rate of Rs 47.59 per dollar.

Similarly, the reference rate for Euro also surged by 91 paise to Rs 61.48 per unit from its last close of Rs 60.57 per unit, a RBI release said.

Meanwhile, the six-month and annualised forward dollar premiums were lower by 2.60 (2.75) per cent and 1.86 (2.08) per cent respectively.

The Rupee closed softer at 62.02/04 (60/90/92) per unit against the Euro. It closed at 75.30/32 (74.50/52 ) per unit against the Pound Sterling and at 50/42/44 (48.96/98) per hundred units aginst the Japanese Yen, brokers added.

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