The Indian rupee gained another 8 paise to end at a two—week high of 46.64/65 against the US dollar on Friday on selling of the American currency by exporters and banks.

In lacklustre trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the local currency opened higher at 46.65/66 a dollar from Thursday’s close of 46.72/73.

It was later trapped in a narrow breadth between 46.60 and 46.7150 before settling the day at 46.64/65. The Indian rupee had ended at 46.64/65 on August 23, 2010.

The dollar index, consisting of six major currencies, was down in London today ahead of the announcement of US non—farm payrolls later in the day, which helped the rupee rise, a forex dealer said.

The BSE Sensex was up by about 78 points in early trade, which gave support to the rupee’s rise, even though the benchmark index settled lower by 17 points at the close of trade.

Meanwhile, global crude oil prices were trading below USD 75 a barrel in London today.

Food inflation was marginally up at 10.86 per cent for the week ended August 21 from 10.05 per cent in the previous week.

The rupee premium for the forward dollar ended slightly better on fresh paying pressure from banks and corporates. The benchmark six—month forward dollar premium payable in February closed at 110—1/2—112 paise from 110—112 paise yesterday and far—forward maturing in August finished higher at 199—201 paise from 196—198 paise previously.

The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the reference rate for the dollar at Rs 46.67 and the euro at Rs 59.82.

In cross—currency trade, the domestic unit closed up against the pound sterling, the euro and the Japanese yen.

The rupee improved further to Rs 71.85/87 against the pound sterling from Thursday’s close of Rs 71.97/99 paise and edged up against the euro to Rs 59.89/91 per euro from Rs 59.91/93 previously.

It also strengthened against the yen to Rs 55.22/24 per 100 yen from its last close of Rs 55.53/55.

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