Extending losses for the third day in a row, the rupee eased further by four paise to settle at 51.75/76 against the dollar on Thursday following weakness in domestic stocks and sustained dollar demand from importers.

Firming dollar overseas too put pressure on the rupee while capital inflows capped the rupee fall to some extent, a dealer said.

At the inter-bank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened slightly lower at 51.75/76 against Wednesday's close of 51.71/72. It later moved between 51.67 and 51.93 before concluding slightly lower at 51.75/76. Continued dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, also kept the rupee under pressure.

The dollar index of six major currencies was up by nearly 0.04 per cent, as investors eyed a rate decision from the European Central Bank (ECB) as well as the outcome of a summit of European leaders on the sovereign debt crisis New York crude oil was trading below $101 a barrel in the European market on Thursday.

The RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at Rs.51.7780 and for the Euro at Rs. 69.4246.

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