* Rupee ends at 54.25/26 per dlr vs 54.16/17 on Wednesday
* Dollar buying by oil, gold importers offsets dlr inflows
* Stocks fall on profit-taking despite stronger Asian shares
By Swati Bhat
MUMBAI, May 9 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee weakened for a
fifth session in six on Thursday as persistent dollar demand
from oil and gold importers offset the positive risk sentiment
seen regionally, while a fall in local shares also weighed.
Strong Australian jobs data and a surprise interest rate cut
by South Korea underpinned Asian shares after Wall Street's
extended record run, but prices were capped by concerns that a
pick-up in inflation in China will limit its policy options.
Indian shares fell, snapping a three-session
winning streak and retreating from three-month highs, as
investors took profits in recent outperforming blue chips such
as Reliance Industries and Sun Pharmaceutical.
The rupee has not benefited much despite strong foreign
buying in stocks and debt. Analysts cite continued demand for
dollars from companies, particularly from the commodity sectors.
"I think the supplies by foreign institutional investors are
getting absorbed by oil and gold demand," said Paresh Nayar,
head of fixed income and foreign exchange trading at First Rand
Nayar cited 54.60 as a near-term resistance for the USD/INR
The partially convertible rupee closed at 54.25/26
per dollar, compared with 54.16/17 on Wednesday. The unit moved
in a 54.14 to 54.3150 range during the session.
Standard Chartered Bank said in a note USD/INR is close to
being technically oversold with an immediate resistance at its
100-day moving average of 54.29. A breach of this level could
lead to a retest of the last high of 54.91.
"We recommend that real money asset managers use upticks
ahead of 55-55.20 to position for a more sustained downmove in
H2-2013," analysts at the bank said in the note.
In the near term, investors will also focus on economic data
as India is set to release consumer price inflation and
industrial ouput numbers on Friday, to be followed by wholesale
prices data on Monday.
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the
one-month contract was at 54.45 while the three-month was at
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 54.36 with a total traded volume of $4 billion.
(Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)