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The rupee closed lower on Friday, ending the year 2.5 percent weaker, as demand for dollars from importers and banks outweighed inward remittances and conversion of the U.S. currency by exporters, dealers said.

The spot rupee closed at 153.60/65 per dollar, compared with Thursday’s 153.50/70. The currency’s fall this year comes after a 3.9 percent decline in 2016.

“There are a lot of what-ifs next year,” said a currency dealer.

“The foreign investors’ movement after the US Fed rate hike, the global economic condition and how the oil prices behave will be the main concerns for the next year.”

Although the rupee has lost ground this year, currency dealers say dollar demand has waned slightly, lending support to the domestic currency.

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