Strengthening for the third day in a row, the rupee on Thursday shot up by 42 paise against the dollar to end at 54-level for the first time in nearly three weeks, amid sustained FII inflows and a surprise rate cut by China.

The rupee commenced higher at 55.14 a dollar from the overnight close of 55.36 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, and immediately touched a low of 55.30 on some dollar demand from oil importers as crude oil hovered around the $85 per barrel.

However, the currency bounced back to breach 55-mark to a high of 54.92 before concluding at 54.94, its highest closing since May 18, 2012. This was rise of 0.76 per cent or 42 paise.

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