The Indian rupee dropped by 15 paise to 44.37 against the U.S. dollar in early trade today on renewed demand for the American currency from banks and corporates on the back of dollar firmness overseas.

The dollar rebounded in the Sydney market from three-year lows and U.S. crude oil slid more than 1 per cent in early trade on the back of news that a U.S.-led operation killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Oil eased in Asian trade today ahead of the release of key U.S. economic data, analysts said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, was down 68 cents to $ 113.25 from New York’s close.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the domestic currency opened lower at 44.28/29 per dollar as against last weekend’s level of 44.22/23 and moved down further to 44.37 per dollar before quoting at 44.32/33 per dollar at 1030 hours.

It moved in a range between Rs. 44.25 and Rs. 44.37 per dollar in morning deals.

Keywords: forexrupeedollar

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