Rising for the second day, the rupee on Thursday appreciated by 16 paise to close at one-week high of 54.56 against the US dollar on hopes of robust capital inflows in view of a series of PSU share sales starting with RCF on Friday.

Continued dollar selling by exporters and some banks, along with weak dollar overseas ahead of European Central Bank’s monthly policy meet late today boosted the rupee, foreign exchange dealers said.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit commenced lower at 54.87 a dollar from previous close of 54.72 and immediately touched a low of 54.91 on early hesitancy in local stocks.

“The rupee was seen appreciating today against the US dollar. The gains were supported by the slight recovery in the Euro. The positive closing in the Indian stock markets also lent support to the rupee. Hopes of dollar inflows in the disinvestment of RCF scheduled tomorrow too supported the rupee,” said Abhishek Goenka, Founder and CEO, India Forex Advisors.

The government’s 12.15 per cent stake sale in Nalco is likely next week and 10.82 per cent disinvestment in SAIL may take place on March 20. The public offer to sell 12.5 per cent stake in Rashtriya Chemical and Fertilisers (RCF) is scheduled to be launched tomorrow. Besides, stake sale in trading giant MMTC is expected to happen on March 14.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) infused over USD 130 million in Indian stocks today, as per provisional data.

The dollar index was down by around 0.15 per cent against a basket of six major global currencies

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