MUMBAI Feb 26 The Indian rupee should weaken on Thursday as demand for dollars from oil importers is expected to rise on the back of higher oil prices, while mixed Asian shares offer little comfort.
* Oil CLc1 hovered above $42 a barrel in Asian trade, holding onto gains of more than 6 percent on Wednesday after U.S. government data showed a larger-than-expected drop in gasoline stocks. [O/R]
* One-month offshore non-deliverable forwards PNDF were at 50.07/17 per dollar, weaker than the rupee's INR=IN 49.96/97 close in the domestic market on Wednesday when it slid 0.2 percent.
* It was the weakest close since Dec. 3 and took its losses this year to 2.5 percent. The rupee had fallen 19.1 percent in 2008.
* At 0305 GMT, Hong Kong's main index .HSI was down 0.5 percent, while Japan's key index .N225 was up 1.3 percent and Korea's index was up 1.7 percent. (Reporting by V. Ramakrishnan; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)