MUMBAI: The Indian rupee fell to the weaker side of 79.50 to the dollar on Thursday, extending Wednesday's losses, on concerns over how the country will fund a record trade deficit.

The rupee was trading a 79.4550 to the dollar at 0424 GMT. It had dropped to 79.5250 earlier.

**The rupee was the worst performing currency in Asia on Thursday. The Chinese yuan and the Korean were little changed.

**"Rupee's decline today and the pace at which it has fallen from 78.50 to 79.50 is quite surprising," Anil Bhansal, head of treasury at Finrex Treasury.

**"It is quite evident that the monthly trade deficit number of $31 billion has spooked markets."

**Importer covering and traders trimming short dollar positions are compounding the rupee's slide, traders said.

**Rupee set to trade near historic low in coming three months, according to a Reuters poll

(Reporting by Nimesh Vora Editing by Vidya Ranganathan)