U.S. Markets closed

Rupee falls for third day, near one-week low

A cashier counts currency notes inside a bank in Lucknow July 16, 2009. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar/Files

By Subhadip Sircar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The rupee fell to a near one-week low on Tuesday, extending losses for a third session, on month-end dollar demand from importers amid cautious trading ahead of U.S. nonfarm payroll data.

A private chemical firm bought around $200 million early in the session and state-run banks bought dollars for meeting the government's defence payments, dealers said.

The partially convertible currency, however, continued to remain supported by foreign fund inflows into local shares.

Foreigners bought shares worth $162.9 million on Monday, extending their buying streak to a twelfth consecutive session.

Dealers also cited exporters selling dollars around 61.80 rupee levels, which kept the rupee's losses in check.

"The rupee will be driven by the flows hitting the market till we find the oil companies coming into the market," said Anil Kumar Bhansali, vice president at Mecklai Financial.

"For the present, FII flows are into the equity market and since demand is lower the rupee stands supported. But as the month-end approaches, we should find month-end demand spooking the rupee."

Forex dealers, however, remained focused on the delayed jobs data due later in the day that will give an indication of the strength of the U.S. economy before this month's government shutdown.

The rupee closed at 61.655/665 per dollar, compared with 61.52/53 on Monday. It fell to 61.83 in session, its lowest since Oct 16.

In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the one-month contract was at 62.14 while the three-month was at 63.13.

In the currency futures market, the most-traded near-month dollar/rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange all closed at around 61.66 with a total traded volume of $1.61 billion.

(Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)