Rupee looses early gains, down by 15 paise Vs dlr

Mumbai: The rupee washed out all of its early gains and even depreciated further by 15 paise to close at 49.20/21 against American currency following late weakness in local stocks amid sustained dollar demand from importers. Better dollar overseas too aided the rupee sentiment while continued capital inflows kept the rupee fall under check, a forex dealer said.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit commenced higher at 48.91/92 a dollar from last close of 49.05/06 and improved further to a high of 48.8150 on initial rally in equities and sustained buying by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs).

However, late weakness in stocks amid dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, weighed on the rupee and it fell back to a low of 49.25 before concluding at 49.20/21, a net loss of 0.31 per cent. Yesterday, it had fallen by 0.36 paise or 0.74 per cent.

The Indian benchmark sensex, which was up by nearly 125 points in late morning deals, closed down by about 85 points or 0.48 per cent, snapping straight five-session of rally. The dollar index, an indicator of six major rivals, was up by 0.05 per cent while New York crude oil was trading above USD 96 a barrel in European market today. FIIs continued their buying spree and pumped in USD 226.85 million yesterday as per SEBI data, taking a total to over USD 1.41 billion in the year 2012 so far.