Indian rupee dropped to one-and-half month low of Rs54.25 against US dollar before regaining some ground yesterday amid persistent demand for the American currency from banks and importers as it made gains in the overseas forex markets, The Times of India reported. The rupee opened lower at Rs54.10 per dollar as against the last weekend’s level of 53.81 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market and dropped further to about 6-week low of 54.25. Later, it was quoted at Rs54.13 a dollar. The rupee moved between 53.90 and 54.25 against the American currency in the morning deals. Sustained dollar demand from banks and importers in view of its higher value in New York market affected the rupee, a forex dealer said. Meanwhile, most Indian stocks dropped ahead of tomorrow’s US presidential election. The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, ended little changed at 18,762.87 at the close, with 17 of 30 stocks on the measure declining. Infosys, the software exporter that got 64% of its revenue from North America in the year ended March, fell for the first time in six days. Aluminum producer Hindalco Industries, which will report earnings today, lost 2.7% as metal prices dropped in London. “There’s some caution as the US election is one of the big global events,” Kaushik Dani, a fund manager at Peerless Mutual Fund, which has $886mn in assets, said by phone. The Sensex advanced 1% on November 2, the steepest gain in six weeks, sending valuations to a 30% premium versus emerging-market peers. The gauge trades at 15 times estimated earnings, compared with a multiple of 11.4 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Thirty-day volatility in the gauge was at 10.66, near the year’s lowest level of 10.04 reached on September 11, the data show. Hindalco lost 2.7% to Rs114.5, its steepest decline since October 8. Copper reached a two-month low in London, leading a drop among other metals. Jindal Steel & Power dropped 2.2% to Rs380.35 and Tata Steel retreated 1.2% to Rs397.65. Drugmaker Cipla reported its highest quarterly profit in at least 13 years. Net income surged 62% to Rs5bn for the September quarter, exceeding the Rs3.69bn median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. The stock advanced 0.9% to Rs380.2 in a fourth day of gains before the results, which were announced after markets closed. Rival Dr Reddy’s Laboratories jumped 1.3% to Rs1,797.60, the highest level since April 19. Out of the 20 Sensex companies that have reported earnings for the quarter ended September, just three have lagged behind analysts’ estimates. That compares with 40% of the index companies missing forecasts in the June quarter, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The S&P CNX Nifty Index rose 0.1% to 5,704.2. Its November futures settled at 5,739.65. India VIX, which gauges the cost of protection against losses in the Nifty, jumped 7.1% to 14.63. The National Stock Exchange of India and the BSE traded 868mn shares on November 2, compared with a 12-month daily average of 912mn.