India's central bank likely sold dollars via public sector banks to defend the rupee which was at risk of slipping to a record low, four traders told Reuters.

The rupee was at 83.2425 to the U.S. dollar, not too far away from the record low of 83.29.

Before the normal over-the-counter open at 9.00 a.m., USD/INR climbed to 83.3050 on the interbank order matching system.

"The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) needed to make its presence felt just before open, or we would have seen a big move on the upside (on USD/INR)," a trader said.

"After that, we have retraced only a bit, which to me suggests that there is considerable dollar demand." (Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)