In line with the downtrend in equity markets, the rupee ended lower by 13 paise to close at 44.90/91 against the dollar today on persistent demand for the US currency, amid its gaining strength in the overseas market.

Dealers said that sustained dollar demand from banks and importers in view of a firm dollar overseas mainly affected the rupee value against the US currency.

Equity markets traded weak and closed in the red.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex today plunged by 146 points to below 18,000-level as the RBI increased key policy rates for the 10 time in a row in its bid to tame rising inflation.

Meanwhile, global crude oil went below USD 95 a barrel in London today.

Alpari India CEO Pramit Brahmbhatt said USD/INR opened at 44.86. During the day, pair traded bullishly and made a low of 44.91 and high of 44.82.

Fall in Euro and weak local equities due to hike in Interest rates by RBI, depreciated rupee for the second day.

During the day it weakened over quarter per cent against the dollar. Looking at the weak local equities, expect rupee to trade over 45.00 level in coming days, he said.

The trading range for the USD/INR will be 44.70 to 45.20.

The rupee resumed lower at 44.87/88 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange as against Wednesday’s close of 44.77/78 per dollar and hovered in a range of 44.80 per dollar and 44.95 per dollar before ending the day at 44.90/91 per dollar.

The US dollar rallied 2 per cent against the euro in New York yesterday after the inability of European officials to resolve their differences over how to respond to the Greek debt crisis, which pushed the single currency to its lowest level this month.

In London, the euro hit a lifetime low against the Swiss franc and sold off against other major currencies on Thursday, hurt by concerns that Greece’s debt problems were spiralling out of control.

It fell to a three-week low against the dollar, breaking below key technical support as investors became more jittery about divisions among European officials over a bailout plan needed for Greece to avert a debt default.

The rupee premium for the forward dollar finished lower on sustained receiving by exporters. The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in November closed down at 129-131 paise from 136-138 paise.

Far-forward contracts maturing in May also ended sharply lower at 238-240 paise from 257-259 paise previously.

The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the dollar at Rs 44.90 and the euro at Rs 63.39.

The rupee firmed up further against the pound sterling to end at Rs 72.32/34 from Wednesday’s close of Rs 72.85/87 and also shot up to Rs 63.32/34 per euro from Rs 64.09/11 previously.

It, however, fell back against the Japanese yen to Rs 55.63/65 per 100 yen from 55.50/52.

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