Mumbai: The rupee weakened on Tuesday as a fall in local shares and dollar buying by refiners underpinned sentiment.
The partially convertible rupee ended at 45.6250/6350 per dollar, about 0.2% weaker than its 45.53/54 close on Monday. It had hit a high of 45.38 intraday on Monday, its strongest since 12 January.
“I see the rupee trading in the 45.50-45.75 against the dollar tomorrow,” said a senior trader with a foreign bank, adding that the fall in local equities was the main factor underpinning sentiment.
The BSE Sensex share index fell 0.3% on Tuesday, mirroring weak global markets.
“Foreigners have so far been net buyers, but the stock market’s fall does raise worries,” the trader said. Foreign funds were net buyers of nearly $1.9 billion in the 12 weeks to 5 March, according to Nomura. Last year, record buying of $17.5 billion had helped the rupee gain 4.7% on year.
Dealers said dollar demand from refiners also pulled the rupee lower. Oil is India’s biggest import and refiners are the largest buyers of dollars in the domestic currency market.
The index of the dollar against six major currencies was 0.4% up.
One-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at 45.59/67, slightly stronger than the onshore spot rate.
In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange and MCX-SX closed at 45.69 and 45.6975 respectively.