The Indian rupee continued to fall against the American currency in the late morning trade by slipping 16 paise to Rs. 54.02 per dollar on month-end dollar demand from importers amid firm dollar overseas.

The rupee resumed lower at Rs. 54.03 per dollar against the last closing level of Rs. 53.86 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market and moved in a range of Rs. 54 per dollar and Rs. 54.09 per dollar before quoting at Rs. 54.02 per dollar at 10.40 a.m.

Month-end dollar demand from importers mainly oil refiners mainly affected the rupee value against the dollar, a forex dealer said.

In New York, the euro continued to suffer yesterday, with a selloff in the shared currency triggered after questions about Italy’s austerity reforms emerged in the wake of the country’s general election.

Oil prices were down in Asia today after inconclusive Italian national elections threatened instability in the country and disrupt the euro zone’s recovery, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April dropped 63 cents to $92.48 a barrel.

Meanwhile, the Indian benchmark Sensex dropped by 117 points of 0.61 per cent to 19,214.34 in the late morning trade.

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