The Indian rupee surrendered initial gains today and fell for the first time in six days, dropping 12 paise to close at 63.50 against the US dollar on fresh demand for the US currency from importers.
The decline was restricted by sustained capital inflows, a forex dealer said.
The Indian rupee resumed higher at 63.20 a dollar from the previous close of 63.38 at the interbank foreign exchange market and improved to an over three-week high of 62.92 on initial firm domestic stocks and continued dollar sales by exporters.
Renewed dollar demand from importers weighed on the rupee and it fell back to a low of 63.97 before recovering some ground to end at 63.50, a fall of 12 paise or 0.19 per cent.
In the previous five sessions, the local currency had jumped 425 paise, or 6.28 per cent, amid optimism pegged on steps to rescue the battered financial markets announced by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, who took over on September 4.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex tumbled 215.57 points or 1.08 per cent ahead of data on industrial production and retail inflation.
"The markets should see a somewhat range-bound stable rupee until the Federal Open Market Committee meets next week to discuss whether it should scale down its bond buying program," said Raghu Kumar, co-founder of RKSV. "As we have evidenced over the past month, there is a strong correlation between the equity markets and the rupee."
Foreign institutional investors continued their buying spree, with net share purchases amounting to Rs 930.54 crore today and Rs 586.50 crore yesterday, according to provisional data with the stock exchanges.
"The trading range for the spot USD-INR pair is expected to be within 63.00 to 64.50," said Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO of Alpari Financial Services (India).
Forward dollar premiums were mixed. The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in February ended a tad higher at 256-261 paise from the overnight close of 255-1/2-260-1/2 paise, while far-forward contracts maturing in August eased to 459-464 paise from 460-465 paise.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 63.6673 and for the euro at