Tracking weak stock markets, the rupee on Monday closed 13 paise lower against the dollar at Rs. 54.41, breaking a three-day winning run, on heavy dollar demand ahead of industrial production and consumer inflation data on Tuesday.

The rupee closed in the negative terrain despite capital inflows worth $180 million and a sentiment boost from India’s exports growing by 4.25 per cent in February, forex brokers said.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit resumed lower at Rs. 54.42 a dollar from last weekend’s close of Rs. 54.28 and declined further to a low of Rs. 54.52 on initial hesitancy in share markets and dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, and some banks.

However, it later recovered on dollar selling by exporters and sustained capital inflows to a high of Rs. 54.17.

However, it again fell back at the fag-end in tandem with equities to settle at Rs. 54.41 -- a fall of 13 paise or 0.24 per cent.

The rupee gained 64 paise or 1.17 per cent in previous three sessions tracking buoyant stocks markets.

The dollar index was quoting up by nearly 0.1 per cent against a basket of six major global units.

“The rupee was seen reacting to the export import figures for February, which released today. The increase in exports came out as a surprise to the market and it made rupee to gain against the dollar at mid-session. But internationally, the factors were pointing towards weakness in rupee, which led the rupee to close down,” said Abhishek Goenka, Founder & CEO, India Forex Advisors.

Meanwhile, the Indian benchmark S&P BSE Sensex in volatile trade closed down by 37.02 points or 0.19 per cent, snapping its straight four-session rally.

Market participants are now waiting for the outcome of the index of industrial production for January and consumer inflation data to be announced on Tuesday. The inflation data based on wholesale price index (WPI) for February is likely to be released on Thursday.

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