Mumbai, Mar 3: The rupee weakened by 18 paise to 61.93 against the US dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market due to appreciation of the American currency overseas.

Increased demand for the dollar from importers also put pressure on the rupee. Dealers attributed the fall in rupee to dollar’s gains against euro overseas and a lower opening of the domestic equity market.

The rupee had gained 23 paise to close at an over five-week closing high of 61.75 against the US dollar in its previous trading session on selling of the American currency by exporters and positive cues from local equities. Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex fell by 54.16 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 21,065.96 in early trade today.