The Indian rupee strengthened by 3 paise to Rs. 44.98 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on Tuesday, supported by a higher opening in the stock market and dollar weakness against other currencies.

The rupee had appreciated by 12 paise to close at over a week’s high of Rs. 45.01/02 against the U.S. currency in Monday’s trade on sustained dollar-selling by exporters and banks.

Forex dealers said dollar weakness against the euro and other currencies and a higher opening in the stock market kept the rupee sentiment firm, but surging global crude oil prices limited the rise.

The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex was up by 100.78 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 17,939.83 in opening trade Tuesday.

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