The rupee today lost 18 paise to 54.79 against the US dollar in early trade on the Interbank Foreign Exchange due to appreciation of the American currency against the euro overseas and a weak opening in the domestic equity market.

Increased demand for the dollar from banks and importers also put pressure on the rupee.

Dealers attributed the rupee’s fall to dollar gains against the euro overseas after a top European official warned the euro currency had climbed into the danger zone and a lower opening in the stock market.

The rupee had closed 12 paise lower at 54.61 a dollar in yesterday’s trade on heavy demand for the American currency.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex was down by 18.32 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 19,965.46 in early trade today.

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