Continuing its north-bound journey for the third straight session, the rupee today firmed up by eight paise against the dollar to close about two-week high of 44.95/96 on rally in equities amid capital inflows.

Stray dollar selling by exporters and banks too helped the rupee rise, dealers said.

They attributed sustained surge in the rupee value to firm equities. The BSE benchmark Sensex ended higher by over 133 points or 0.66 per cent after gaining by nearly 231 points or 1.15 per cent in the previous day.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) invested over USD 234 million in last four days since December 24 in equities.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit opened higher at 44.95/96 a dollar from its last close of 45.04/05.

Later, it moved in a range of 45.00 and 44.85 before settling the day at 44.96/97 a dollar.

The dollar index was also down by 0.05 per cent against a basket of currencies in European market today.

Global crude oil was trading below USD 91 a barrel in London today.

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