Rupee drops further by 24 paise vs dlr in morning trade

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Mumbai, Jan 17 (PTI) The rupee dropped further by 24paise against the US currency on persistent dollar demand frombanks coupled with sustained capital outflows by foreign fundsin view of weak equity markets.

In fairly active trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange(Forex) market, the local currency opened lower at 45.42/43per dollar as against the last weekend''s level of 45.36/37 perdollar and declined further to 45.60 per dollar before quotingat 45.51/52 per dollar at 1030hrs.

It moved in the range of 45.42 per dollar and 45.60 perdollar during the morning deals.

The Indian benchmark Sensex failed to maintain initialgains and eased by 6.34 points or 0.03 per cent in the earlytrade.

Meanwhile, crude oil was mixed in Asian trade today amidexpectations that prices would soon hit USD 100 a barrelagain, analysts said.

New York''s main contract, light sweet crude for Februarydelivery, eased two cents to USD 91.52 a barrel and BrentNorth Sea crude for March delivery was five cents higher atUSD 98.43.

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