Snapping three days of gains the rupee on Friday closed 11 paise down at 44.18/19 against the U.S. currency on heavy dollar demand amid a firm American unit overseas and weak equities.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit opened a tad higher at 44.06/07 a dollar from last close of 44.07/08.

It concluded at 44.18/19.

The local currency gained 33 paise or 0.74 per cent in last three trading sessions.

Forex dealers said that heavy dollar buying by importers, mainly oil refiners, to meet their month-end requirements dampened the rupee sentiment.

Strong dollar overseas too put pressure on the rupee, they added.

The dollar index, consisting of six major currencies, was up by 0.22 per cent while New York crude oil was trading below $97 a barrel in the European market on Friday.

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