The rupee on Thursday lost 18 paise to 54.90 in early trade on the Interbank Foreign Exchange due to renewed dollar demand from importers and appreciation of the U.S. currency overseas.

Forex dealers said a weak opening in the domestic stock market also put pressure on the local unit.

Dollar gaining against euro and yen overseas and a lower opening in the domestic stock market mainly pulled down the rupee.

The domestic currency had gained 20 paise, the biggest gain in a week, to close at 54.72 on Wednesday amid fresh dollar selling by exporters and some banks.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex was down by 39.69 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 19,212.92 in early trade on Thursday.

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