Tracking weak stocks, the rupee today fell 21 paise to end at two-month low of 62.76 against the greenback on sustained dollar demand from importers amid US rate hike concerns.
A smart rise in dollar index against its major rivals also put pressure on the rupee. There was caution before release of Current Account Deficit numbers. After forex markets closed, data showed CAD doubled to USD 8.2 billion or 1.6 per cent of GDP in December quarter year-on-year.
After tanking 39 paise on Monday, the rupee resumed weak at 62.80 per dollar against overnight close of 62.55 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market.
It moved erratically in a range of 62.6175 and 62.83 before settling at 62.76, revealing a fall of 21 paise or 0.34 per cent.
The Indian benchmark S&P BSE Sensex today closed lower by 135 points or 0.47 per cent after plunging by 604.17 points or 2.05 per cent yesterday. Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) invested Rs 838.30 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
The weakness in the rupee was due mainly to hopes of early rise in interest rates by Federal Reserve by mid-year which hurts stocks and currencies from emerging markets after better-than-expected US jobs data.
Pramit Brahmbhatt, Veracity Group, CEO said: “Rupee traded weak and depreciated by over a quarter per cent. Negative sentiments continued to hammer local equities which closed down by nearly half percent. Dollar index continues to trade at multi-year highs. This further dented the rupee movement.”
The trading range for the spot rupee is expected to be within 62.40 to 63.20, he added.
The forward premia continued to rule weak on sustained receipts from exporters.
The benchmark six-month premium payable in August closed a tad lower at 229-231 paise from 229.5-231.5 paise yesterday and the forward contracts maturing in February 2016 also eased to 444.5-446.5 paise from 446-448 paise.
The Reserve Bank of India fixed the reference rate for dollar at 62.6983 and for Euro at 67.6577.
The rupee edged up further against the pound to 94.53 from 94.54 Monday and also rose against the euro to 67.48 from 68.02.
It, however, held stable at its overnight closing level of 51.71 per 100 yen.