Rupee ends lower at 49.99 per US dollar

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Mumbai, Nov 19 (UNI) The Rupee today closed softer by around 32 paise to 49.99 against the US dollar on brisk demand for dollars by foreign banks.

The Indian rupee opened low at 49.72 against 49.67, the previous day's close, and later fluctuated in a wide range between 49.70 and 49.99 per dollar in intra-day. The local stock market drifted lower since the last six sessions.

The stock market has been the focus of currency traders after heavy foreign fund withdrawals piled pressure on the rupee over the past few months. Foreigners have sold Indian shares worth a net USD 13.1 billion in 2008.

Brokers said there was support for the rupee at 49.80 but the outlook depended on how the stock market moved.

''The rupee opened weaker as some Asian markets were down,'' he said.

However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today fixed the reference rate for US dollar at Rs 49.74 per unit, up by six paise, against its yesterday's rate of Rs 49.68 per dollar. Similarly, the reference rate for Euro edged up by 20 paise to Rs 62.78 per unit from its last close of Rs 62.58 per unit, n RBI release said.

Meanwhile, the six-month and annualised forward dollar premiums were lower by 2.50 (2.58) per cent and 1.81 (1.88) per cent respectively.

The Rupee closed softer at 63.18/20 (62.74/76) per unit against the Euro. It closed at 75.38/40 (74.66/68) per unit against the Pound Sterling and at 51.68/70 (51.64/66) per hundred units aginst the Japanese Yen, brokers added.

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