The Indian rupee depreciated by 37 paise to close at 54.38 against the American unit on weakness in local equities amid fresh dollar demand from importers. Firm dollar overseas also weighed on the rupee while heavy sustained capital inflows restricted the fall, a forex dealer said. The rupee commenced remarkably lower at 54.30 a dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market as against last close of 54.01 and moved in a narrow range of 54.22 and 54.42 before concluding at 54.38, showing a fall of 0.37 paise or 0.59 per cent. On Wednesday, it had ended stable. Month-end dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, and also some banks put pressure on the rupee. The Indian benchmark sensex on Thursday dropped further by 146.76 points or 0.79 per cent on political worries amid global weakness. The dollar index, a gauge of six major global rivals, was up by 0.49 pct after lacklustre Chinese manufacturing data and downbeat euro zone purchasing managers’ index (PMI) that worried investors about global growth and they went for a safe haven like dollar. New York crude oil was quoting below $92 a barrel in European market on Thursday. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) picked up shares worth $201.06 million on Wednesday, taking a total to over $1.1 billion in last three days since September 14, as per Sebi data. Pramit Brahmbhatt,CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India) said, “The INR finished with losses amidst gains in dollar index on risk aversion in global markets due to slowing of manufacturing activity in china and fall in Japanese exports. The ongoing political rift between Government and its strongest ally has also weighed on INR.” The premium for the forward dollar recovered slightly on fresh payments by banks and corporates. The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in February edged up to 149-151 paise from yesterday’s close of 147-149 paise. The premium for far-forward contracts maturing in August also moved up to 299-301 paise from 292-294 paise. The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 54.3375 and for euro at 70.5725. GOLD, SILVER UP Gold and silver prices rebounded at the bullion market here on Thursday on renewed offtake from stockists and traders amid good buying interest due to ongoing festival. Standard gold (99.5 purity) climbed by Rs 160 to close at Rs 31,960 per 10 gm from on Tuesday’s closing level of Rs 31,800. Pure gold (99.9 purity) rose by Rs155 to finish at Rs 32,095 per 10 gm from Rs31,940.