The rupee continued to rule easy against the American currency in the late morning trade by slipping 4 paise to 54.40 per dollar on month-end dollar demand from importers amidst higher dollar overseas.

The rupee resumed lower at 54.47 per dollar against Tuesday’s closing level of 54.36 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market and hovered in a range of 54.36 per dollar and 54.48 per dollar before quoting at 54.40 per dollar at 1040 hrs.

Month-end dollar buying from importers mainly refinery companies affected the rupee value against the dollar, a Forex dealer said.

In New York market, the US dollar climbed against most major rivals yesterday, with the euro tumbling below USD 1.28 for the first time since November on renewed political turmoil in Italy.

Meanwhile, the Indian benchmark Sensex dropped by 102 points, or 0.54 per cent to 18,602.78 at 1040 hrs.

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