The Indian rupee advanced further by 16 paise against the US currency on heavy dollar selling by exporters amid early gains in the equity market.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the local unit resumed higher at 46.23/24 a dollar from last close of 46.32/33.

Later, it moved in a range of 46.16 and 46.27 before quoting at 46.17/18 per dollar at 1030 hours.

Forex dealers said persistent dollar selling by exporters on expectations of a fall in the greenback overseas helped the rupee rise. Hopes of fresh capital inflows too caused the rupee to rally.

Most of the Asian markets remain closed today for Lunar New Year Holidays.

Meanwhile, the Indian benchmark index Sensex recovered by 98 points in early trade to 16,135.99.

Global crude oil prices were trading near $74 a barrel in the Asian market.

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