MARKETS-INDIA-RUPEE:Rupee seen down on risk-averse sentiment
MUMBAI (Reuters) - The rupee is expected to weaken on Monday on risk-averse sentiment after the sovereign rating of several euro zone countries were cut, and traders will be watching the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for direction.
* Rating agency Standard & Poor's cut nine of the euro zone's 17 countries, including top-notch France and Austria, and said it would decide shortly whether to downgrade the euro zone's bailout fund.
* At 0226 GMT, the MSCI index of Asian stocks ex-Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> was down 1.23 percent, while the Nifty India stock futures traded in Singapore were 0.84 percent lower, indicating a weaker start for local shares.
* Traders said the rupee should open around 51.65 to 51.70 to the dollar and move in a band of 51.40 to 51.90. It strengthened 2.29 percent last week, its biggest weekly gain in more than two months, to 51.5350/5450.
* Ashtosh Raina, head of forex trading at HDFC Bank, said although there would be downward pressure on the rupee, the central bank's recent measures to clamp down on speculation and dollar sales could provide support.
* The euro hit a fresh 11-year low versus the yen on Monday and was expected to remain under pressure after the S&P's mass downgrade of euro zone countries late last week.
(Reporting by Archana Narayanan; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)