Rupee closes at a near 5-month low of 55.11 against dollar

The rupee today plummeted to a near five-month low of 55.11 against the US dollar, losing 23 paise during a day of sustained dollar demand from oil importers and concerns.

Comments by rating agency Standard & Poor's over a possible rating downgrade also seems to have affected market sentiment.

Forex dealers attributed the fall to the hammering of the equity market and dollar's firmness against other currencies in foreign markets.

The rupee opened trading at the interbank foreign exchange market lower at 55.06 against its Friday's close of 54.88. Later, it somewhat recovered to a high of 54.80 on dollar selling by exporters and initial firmness in domestic equities but again hit a low of 55.20, before settling at 55.11 - a fall of 23 paise (or 0.41 per cent).

This is rupee's lowest level since 7 January this year, when it closed at 55.23 against the dollar.

The dollar index, however, was down by 0.25 per cent against a basket of six major global currencies.

The BSE Sensex also closed down 62 points down at 20,223.98.