Rupee remains weak Vs dlr, ends six paise down

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Mumbai, Jan 24 (PTI) Erasing its early gains, rupee todaycontinued its downward journey for the straight fourth sessionand settled with a decline of six paise against the UScurrency on late dollar demand from importers despite firmlocal equities.

Forex dealers attributed the initial rise in the rupeevalue to dollar selling by exporters amid recovery in localstocks.

Strong dollar overseas too weighed heavy on the rupee,they added.

Meanwhile, the benchmark Sensex today closed higher by143.75 points or 0.76 per cent on good Q3 results by somebanking majors but could not able to stem the rupee fall.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, thedomestic unit opened higher at 45.57/58 a dollar from previousclose of 45.62/63 and touched the day''s high of 45.52.

However, late month-end dollar demand from importers,mainly oil refiners, later kept the rupee under pressure andit fell back to finish at 45.68/69.

The dollar index of six major currencies was also tradingup by 0.29 per cent in Europe today.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold shares worthover USD 754 million in current month till January 21.

The global crude oil was trading above USD 88 a barrel inAsian trade today as investors awaited the outcome of aFederal Reserve meeting this week, analysts said.

However, according to market participants the apex bankmight hike key interest rates in tomorrow''s quarterly policysetting meeting to contain the rising inflation.

The rupee premium for the forward dollar recoveredslightly on fresh paying pressure from banks and corporates.

The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in Juneclosed up at 126-128 paise from 125-127 paise previously.

Far-forward contracts maturing in December also endedhigher at 250-252 paise from last Friday''s close of 245-247paise.

The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the reference ratefor the dollar at Rs 45.58 and the euro at Rs 62.01.

The rupee fell back to Rs 72.79/81 against the poundsterling from last weekend''s close of Rs 72.53/55 and alsoreacted downwards against the yen to Rs 55.13/15 per 100 yenfrom Rs 55.07/09 previously.

It, however, remained weak to Rs 61.90/92 per euro fromits last close of Rs 61.71/63.

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