The Indian rupee opened lower against the U.S. dollar on Thursday. The rupee is currently worth 56.2055 per dollar, slightly off its record low of 56.23 hit yesterday.
The Indian rupee broke 56 level against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday for the first time in history as risk aversion aggravated on worries over Greece's possible exit from the eurozone.
The dollar's rise also added weakness in the rupee as investors opted for the safety of dollar assets after ratings agency Fitch downgraded Japan's sovereign credit rating on Tuesday.
The Reserve Bank of India has taken several measures to stem the rupee's slide, including raising deposit rates for non-resident Indians and forcing exporters to convert half of their foreign currency holdings into rupees.
Even, the Reserve Bank of India early this week imposed restrictions of $100 million on position limit for forward contracts by banks and advised the banks dealing in foreign currency to bring down their trading limits by June-end.
In reaction to rupee's slide beyond 56 level per dollar on Wednesday, India's state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) hiked gasoline/petrol prices steeply. A fuel price hike was on cards as the government tries to tackle the country's huge oil import bill.
Gasoline prices were hiked by 6.28 rupees per litre excluding value added tax/sales tax, the Indian Oil Corporation said in a statement. The increase will come into effect midnight of 23/24 May 2012, the company added. HPCL and BPCL are the other two OMCs.
The latest hike is the biggest ever, reports said, and took analysts by surprise as a 5 rupees increase was widely expected. India deregulated gasoline prices since June 2010. The previous revision was in December 2011.
by RTT Staff Writer
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