The Indian rupee appreciated by 22 paise in early trade on Wednesday on expectations of fresh capital inflows by capital funds as stock market may open higher, tracking firming trends on other Asian equity markets.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the local unit strengthened by 22 paise to 47.18 a dollar.

The rupee had ended 44 paise lower at 47.40/41 in the previous session after the Bombay Stock Exchange index Sensex fell by over 490 points and dollar strengthened overseas against a basket of currencies.

Dealers said expectations of fresh capital inflows as equities may open higher, in line with firming trends in Asian market, mainly supported the rupee.

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