Mumbai: The rupee retreated on Monday from a more than 5-1/2 month high struck in the previous session, due to continuing weakness in local shares and big demand for the US unit from importers.
Traders said dollar buying from some corporates was also seen and could have contributed to pressure on the Indian unit.
At 2:25pm, the partially convertible rupee was at 44.2875/2900 per dollar, weaker than 44.07/08 at close on Friday when it hit 43.98 during trade, its highest since 15 October.
In remainder of trade on Monday, the rupee could move in Rs 44.20-44.40 band, traders said.
Shares extended losses to 1% on Monday, on the back of weak world stocks and after industrial output grew at a slower-than-expected pace in February.
High global oil prices may have prompted domestic oil firms, the biggest dollar purchasers in the local forex market, to sell the Indian unit, traders said.
Brent crude fell towards $126 on Monday while US crude futures slipped after touching a 2-1/2-year high as the African Union said Moammar Gadhafi had accepted a roadmap to end the civil war in Libya.
The index of the dollar against six major currencies was down 0.13% at 74.969 points, compared with 75.138 points at the close of the local forex trade on Friday.
The one-month onshore forward premium was at 26.00 basis points, higher than 25.50 on Friday. The three-month was at 80.75 basis points versus 81 basis points and the one-year was at 306.5 from 305.
The one-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at 44.47, weaker than the onshore spot rate.
In the currency futures market , the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange were all at 44.4000, with the total volume at about $5.58 billion.