Falling for the fifth day in a row, the rupee on Monday lost 22 paise to end at 55.73 against the US dollar due to sustained demand for the American currency from importers and banks.

Forex dealers said the dollar demand was so strong that even sustained capital inflows amid stable dollar overseas and positive local equities could not stem the rupee’s fall.

The local unit commenced better at 55.45 a dollar from last Friday’s close of 55.51 and immediately touched a high of 55.42 on the back of firm local stocks.

However, month-end dollar demand from oil importers and some banks later weighed on the rupee and it fell to a low of 55.89 before closing the day at 55.73, a fall of 22 paise, or 0.40 per cent.

Treasury managers at banks said there was no sign of intervention by the Reserve Bank on Monday even as the local currency is moving fast to 56-level. They added that RBI intervention is very much likely if the rupee falls below 56-level on Tuesday.

He said the forex market is eagerly awaiting the second quarter GDP numbers, expected on Friday.

The dollar index was trading almost flat against a basket of currencies as Europe’s debt problems garnered renewed attention, with euro zone finance ministers set to reconvene later in the global trading day.

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