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Indian rupee dropped to fresh two-month lows
November, 23rd 2010

The Indian rupee dropped to fresh two-month lows on Tuesday, weighed down by losses in domestic shares and as the dollar strengthened against major currencies.

At 10:25 a.m. (0455 GMT), the partially convertible rupee was at 45.5350/5375 per dollar, weaker than 45.405/415 at close on Monday. It hit 45.62 in early trade, its lowest since Sept. 23.

"The rupee will follow equity markets and overseas movements in major currencies," said Ashtosh Raina, head of foreign exchange trading at HDFC Bank .

The main stock index fell 1 percent early, taking cues from weak Asian markets and a political corruption scandal that has paralysed India's parliament.

Foreign funds have bought shares worth around a record $28.7 billion so far in 2010, compared with last year's $17.5 billion, but with the year-end coming up there is a greater possibility of profit-taking.

The MSCI index of Asian stocks ex-Japan was down 1.5 percent and the Nifty India stock futures traded in Singapore was down 1 percent.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback's performance against a basket of major currencies, was up 0.15 percent at 78.798. Most Asian currencies were also weaker compared with the dollar.

The euro came under renewed pressure in Asia as political uncertainty in Ireland and worries about other peripheral euro zone members snuffed out initial optimism over a bailout plan for Dublin.

One-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at 45.75, weaker than the onshore spot rate, suggesting a bearish near-term outlook.

In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, MCX-SX and United Stock Exchange were all at 45.5800, with the total traded volume on the three exchanges at $1.18 billion.

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