The rupee appreciated by 17 paise to close at nearly a four-week high of 44.69/70 against the U.S. currency on firm local equities and frenzied capital inflows.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit opened strong at 44.76/77 a dollar from the previous close of 44.86/87.
It later improved further to a high of 44.66 before settling at 44.69/70, a net gain of 0.38 per cent.
Dealers said that aided by heavy FII inflows amid sharp dip in food inflation and firm global markets as concerns over Greek debt crisis eased the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex rallied for the sixth straight day, which strengthened the rupee sentiment.
Persistent selling of dollars by exporters and some banks in view of sustained capital inflows amid dollar weakness overseas too kept the rupee firm, they added.
“Rupee traded around its two week high and appreciated by about 0.4 per cent against the dollar, as local equities ended positively and globally dollar also weakened against major currencies which helped rupee perform well,” Alpari Financial Services (India) CEO Pramit Brahmbhatt said.
“The trading range for the USD/INR will be 44.50 to 45.00 tomorrow,” he added.
The dollar index, consisting of six major currencies, was down by 0.05 per cent while New York crude oil was trading below $ 95 a barrel in European market today.
Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex shot up by 152 points to touch a two-month high of 18,846.
FIIs injected $ 1.13 billion in equities in straight five sessions since June 23, aiding the rupee sentiment.
India Forex Advisors CEO Abhishek Goenka said the rupee closed stronger today tracking strong Asian peers.
The rupee premium for the forward dollar continued to rule steady to better on stray paying pressure from banks and corporates. The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in December finished at 140-141 paise from 139-141-1/2 paise on Wednesday. Far-forward contracts maturing in June, however, rose to 249-251 paise from 246-248 paise previously.
The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the dollar at Rs. 44.72 and the euro at Rs. 64.79.
The rupee recovered against the pound sterling to finish at Rs. 71.57/59 from Wednesday’s close of Rs. 71.92/94 and also moved up to Rs. 64.67/69 per euro from Rs. 64.73/75 yesterday.
It, however, fell back against the Japanese yen to Rs. 55.58/60 per 100 yen from last close of Rs. 55.38/40.