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Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002

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Rupee closes at new low

Our Bureau

Mumbai: POLITICAL uncertainty coupled with importer demand for the greenbacks pushed the rupee to a record intra-day low of 49 against the dollar on Monday.

According to dealers, public sector banks were buying dollars to meet defence related imports. Development financial institutions also bought sizable amount. The initial demand triggered a panic buying, which pushed the currency to the intra-day low of 49; the lowest ever level, before closing at Rs 48.98/99, dealers said.

On Monday, the domestic unit closed at 48.91/92. Its previous closing low was 48.94 per dollar, reached on April 15.

"Rupee may weaken further in the coming days. Rising oil prices, coupled with political uncertainty and slowing down of FII inflows may put pressure on the rupee,'' said a dealer with a private sector bank.

Currency traders expect the rupee to open at 49 per dollar level on Wednesday. The rupee has depreciated by 1.49 per cent against the dollar since early January. Last year, it depreciated by around 4.50 per cent and analysts said they expect the rupee to weaken by around 5 per cent this year.

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