Rupee down 7 paise at 52.02/03 vs dollar

Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Tuesday closed down by seven paise to settle at 52.02/03 against the American currency on weakness in local stocks amid fresh dollar demand from importers. Forex dealers said fresh dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, to meet their month-end needs weighed on the rupee.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic currency swung between 51.86 and 52.14 on alternate bouts of buying and selling before concluding at 52.02/03. Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark index, Sensex, fell by 159 points to 16,008.34. FIIs withdrew nearly USD 1.2 billion in 10 straight trading sessions since November 15. The rupee premium for the forward dollar edged up further on sustained paying pressure from banks and corporates.

The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in April inched up to 93-95 paise from Monday`s close of 92-94 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in October also ended up at 154-1/2-156-1/2 paise from 152-1/2-154-1/2 paise previously. The Reserve Bank has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at Rs 51.9308 and for the euro at Rs 69.3658.

The rupee dropped further against the pound sterling to settle at 81.28/30 from Monday`s level of Rs 80.94/96 and also remained weak to end at Rs 69.61/63 per euro from Rs 69.46/48 previously. It, however, reacted downwards against the Japanese yen to Rs 67.01/03 per 100 yen from Rs 66.86/88.