The Indian rupee was down by 23 paise at 45.35 per U.S. dollar in early trade today on month-end dollar demand from banks and importers amid weakness in the local equity market.
In fairly active trade on the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the domestic unit resumed lower at 45.25/26 per dollar against the previous close of 45.12/13.
It moved in a range between 45.23 and 45.35 before quoting at 45.30/31 at 1030 hours.
Forex dealers said month-end dollar demand from banks and corporates, as well as weak equity local markets, mainly put pressure on the rupee.
The dollar fell to its lowest level against the euro in three weeks yesterday as traders anticipated that central banks and political leaders would provide greater clarity on the outlook for interest rates and a potential resolution of Europe’s sovereign-debt problems.
The Indian benchmark Sensex was down by over 264 points, or 1.45 per cent, at 1100 hours today.
Meanwhile, oil hit a two-year high in Asian trade today as turmoil grew in Libya and threatened to spread to other bigger oil producers in the region, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, rose by $ 1.00 to $ 99.10 per barrel after passing the $ 100 mark for the first time since October, 2008, yesterday.