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US Dollar and Rupee seen lower on hike in gold import tax

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SummaryGold import-related dollar buying is an important source of dollar demand after oil in currency markets.

* USD/INR is likely to open lower as government raises gold import duty which will lower dollar demand, says dealers. Pair likely to open around 53.65 versus 53.71/72 last close.

* India has raised the import tax on gold by 2 percentage points to 6 percent to curb purchases and rein-in a ballooning fiscal deficit, but industry officials expect only a moderate drop in demand.

* Gold import-related dollar buying is an important source of dollar demand after oil in currency markets.

* Dealers say government's approval of IKEA's $1.86 billion India investment plan also positive for rupee.

* The Nifty India stock futures traded in Singapore currently up 0.11 percent, while the MSCI index of Asian shares ex-Japan 0.03 percent lower.

* Most Asian currencies including won, ringgit trading lower. See for a snapshot.

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