Rupee down by 18 paise vs dollar

Mumbai: The Indian rupee was down by 18 paise at Rs 52.20 per US dollar in early trade today on month-end demand for the American currency from importers despite dollar weakness in overseas markets, besides sustained foreign capital outflows.

The rupee resumed slightly lower at Rs 52.03/04 per dollar on the Interbank Foreign Exchange, as against its previous close of Rs 52.02/03 per dollar, and dropped further to Rs 52.20 per dollar before quoting at Rs 52.17/18 per dollar at 1015 hours.

Persistent foreign capital outflows and month-end dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, affected the rupee value against the dollar, a forex dealer said.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices dipped in Asian trade today as an unexpected rise in US crude stockpiles dampened the market sentiment after an overnight rally, analysts said. New York`s main contract, light sweet crude for January delivery, fell by 16 cents to USD 99.63 per barrel.

The BSE benchmark Sensex was down by 108 points, or 0.67 per cent, in early trade.