Snapping its four-session losing string, the rupee on Thursday closed 18 paise higher at 45.52/53 against the dollar on fresh selling of the American currency by exporters and some banks.

In active trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the rupee fell to a low of 45.76 in early trade from its last close at 45.70/71.

Forex dealers attributed the initial fall in the rupee value to sustained dollar demand from importers to meet their month-end requirements.

Dollar selling from exporters and some banks at higher levels emerged soon, helping the rupee to rebound and hit a high of 45.51 before concluding at 45.52/53.

In last straight four trading sessions, the rupee had lost 48 paise or 1.06 per cent.

Meanwhile, stock markets exhibited weakness, with the Indian benchmark Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange dropping 142 points. It had dipped nearly 500 points in the last two trading sessions.

The US dollar edged up against the euro and a basket of currencies yesterday in New York and was also up in London today with the dollar index gaining 0.16 per cent following more worries over the euro zone’s debt outlook.

Global crude oil was trading above USD 84 a barrel in Europe.

The rupee premium for the forward dollar also recouped on fresh paying pressure from banks and corporates. The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in April ended higher at 109-1/2-110-1/2 paise, up from 104-106-1/2 on Wednesday.

Far-forward contracts maturing in October also finished up at 197-1/2-199 paise.

The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the reference rate for the dollar at Rs. 45.64 and the euro at Rs. 60.81.

In cross-currency trade, the domestic currency remained firm against the pound sterling and the euro while recovered against the Japanese yen.

The rupee improved further to Rs. 71.70/72 against the pound sterling from Wednesday’s close of Rs. 72.22/24 and also rose to Rs. 60.65/67 per euro from Rs. 61.06/08 previously.

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