Rupee opens lower at 44.1350/1400 per USD

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Mumbai, Feb 12: The Rupee today opened lower at 44.1350/1400 against the US dollar, dealers said.

The Indian currency held close to a recent 16-month high against the dollar on Monday, acquiring support from renewed capital inflows, but the central banks intervention weighed on sentiment.

The partially convertible Rupee was at 44.1350/1400 per dollar, barely changed from the previous session's close of 44.1325/1375.

On Friday, the Rupee hit 44.03 and was quoted at 44.00, its highest since September 2005 on a report that the government wanted a stronger currency to fight inflation.

The central bank bought about USD 5 billion to weaken the Rupee in November and December, and the market widely believes the RBI has played an active role in the currency market this year.

The central bank is concerned about the rate at which the Rupee has appreciated. It is about 6.5 per cent up since hitting a three-year low in July.

The prospect of robust capital inflows into Asia's fourth-largest economy boosted sentiment for the Rupee, briefly giving it an early lift.

Still, traders expect dollar demand from oil firms to check the Rupee's gains. US oil traded above USD 59 per barrel on Monday.

India imports about 70 per cent of its oil, traders added.


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