The rupee fell 26 paise to 61.53 against the U.S. currency in the late morning trade on sustained dollar demand from importers and banks amid volatility in equity markets.

The rupee resumed lower at 61.35 per dollar as against the last weekend’s level of 61.27 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market and dropped further to 61.58 before quoting at 61.53 (1040hrs).

The domestic unit hovered in a range of 61.33 and 61.58 per dollar during the morning deals.

The BSE benchmark Sensex resumed higher at 20,915.76 and firmed up further to 20,970.92, but declined immediately to 20,831.17 before quoting at 20,861.65 (1045hrs), showing a loss of 21.24 points, or 0.14 per cent, over the weekend level.

Oil prices edged higher by 10 cents to $100.91 a barrel in Asian trade today as dealers await long-delayed U.S. economic data for clues about the health of the world’s largest crude consumer, analysts said.

The U.S. stimulus programme has been credited with fuelling a global equities rally for most of the year. The U.S. Central bank said in September that it would not wind down the programme if there was no broad improvement in the world’s largest economy.

More In: Markets | Business