Mumbai: The rupee may ease on Monday as record high oil prices reinforce concerns about a widening trade deficit and a weakening stock market raises worries that foreigners may withdraw some capital.
The partially convertible rupee (INR=IN) ended at 41.60/61 per dollar on Friday, 0.4% stronger than its previous close of 41.76/77. It lost 2.3% on the week.
Oi hit record highs above $126 a barrel. India imports 70% of its oil and refiners are among the biggest buyers of dollars in the local market.
The trade deficit (INTRD=ECI) widened 35.5% to $80.4 billion in the fiscal year ended March, largely due to soaring oil prices.
The Indian stock market fell 4.9% last week. So far in 2008, foreigners have been net sellers of $2.9 billion of stocks.