The Indian rupee appreciated by 17 paise to 45.44 dollar in the early trade on Friday in line with other firming Asian currencies amid increased capital inflows by foreign funds into equities.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the rupee appreciated by 17 paise to 45.44 a dollar. The domestic currency had closed 23 paise lower at 45.61/62 in the previous session.

Forex dealers said the rupee strengthened against the US currency largely in line with other firming Asian currencies and dollar selling by banks and exporters.

Besides, fresh capital inflows by foreign funds into equities also supported the Indian rupee, they added.

Meanwhile, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex rose by almost 77 points, or 0.44 per cent to 17,244.54 in the opening trade on Friday.

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