The rupee today fell by 18 paise to 54.14 against the dollar on fresh demand for the US currency from crude and gold importers, amid firm global cues.

However, capital inflows and strong domestic equities limited the local currency’s fall to some extent, forex dealers said.

The rupee commenced stable at its last closing level of 53.96 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market.

It moved in a range of 53.92—54.24, before settling at 54.14 against the dollar, a fall of 18 paise, or 0.33 per cent from its previous close.

“After gold prices fell last week, there is heavy demand for the precious metal from importers, which in turn is putting pressure on rupee,” a treasurer with a private bank said, adding that month—end dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, also weighed on the local currency.

Gold prices plunged to a 21—month low at Rs 26,440 per 10 grams on April 16 tracking weak global cues that triggered a surge in retail jewellery demand across the country.

Foreign institutional investors today pumped in USD 169.16 million (Rs 915.82 crore) into local equities, as per BSE provisional data.

The BSE benchmark Sensex rose by 153.37 points to 19,169.83.

The dollar index was up by 0.05 per cent against a basket of six major global currencies.

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