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Rupee softens 12 paise against dollar

PTI | Mumbai |

The rupee weakened by 12 paise to 63.61 against the US dollar in opening trade at the interbank foreign exchange on Tuesday after concerns over trade deficit ballooning to a three-year high.

Trade deficit or the difference between imports and exports was USD 14.88 billion in December, up about 41 per cent year-on-year, as crude oil and gold import bill inflated, the commerce ministry data showed.

Dealers attributed the rupee’s fall to dollar’s strength against some other currencies overseas but a higher opening in the domestic equity market capped the fall.

Yesterday, the rupee had strengthened by 14 paise to close at a fresh one-week high of 63.49 against the US currency on sustained dollar selling by exporters amid record rally in domestic equities.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex rose by 92.52 points or 0.26 per cent to 34,936.03 in early trade.