Indian rupee opens lower tracking fall in Asian peers; RBI eyed

MUMBAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee opened lower versus the U.S. currency on Friday as Asian currencies fell on concerns that the Federal Reserve could continue to hike rates aggressively.

The rupee was trading at 79.7675 per U.S. dollar by 0332 GMT, down from 79.6725 in the previous session

**Offshore Chinese yuan falls to lowest in three months against dollar.

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**Dollar index on Friday rose to 107.72, highest since July 18.

**Unexpected dip in U.S. initial jobless claims signal healthy labour market, providing Fed room to maintain aggressive pace of rate hikes.

**St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said he is leaning toward supporting a third straight 75-basis-point interest rate hike in September.

**Rupee's path to below 80 "looks highly likely", unless RBI once again steps in and sells dollars, a trader at private sector bank said.

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Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Neha Arora

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