The rupee today gained 5 paise to close at nearly three-week high of 44.96/9650 against the U.S. currency on continued dollar selling by banks and exporters amid smart rebound in equities.

Sustained weakness in dollar overseas, too, helped the rupee surge. The dollar index was down by about 0.2 per cent against a basket of currencies to 15 month low in Europe today. The euro was trading up at 4.5-month high against the dollar.

“Rupee traded strongly throughout the day, supported by positives in the stock market with stronger euro and regional Asian peers,” Alpari Forex (India) CEO Pramit Brahmbhatt said.

“The trading range for the USD/INR will be between 44.70-45.20 tomorrow,” he added.

In a narrow movement at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit opened better at 44.97/98 a dollar from yesterday’s close of 45.01/02.

It later moved in a slender trade between 44.9375 and 45.0075 before settling the day at 44.96/9650.

The Indian benchmark Sensex, which had lost nearly 517 points or 2.83 per cent in last three sessions, today recovered by over 149 points or 0.84 per cent to close at 17,988.30.

Meanwhile, global crude oil prices were trading near $ 103 a barrel in London today.

The rupee premium for the forward dollar continued to remain barely steady. The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in August closed at 138-139-1/2 paise from 138-1/2-140 paise on Monday.

Far-forward contracts maturing in February finished at 275-276-1/2 paise from 274-1/2-276-1/2 paise in its previous close.

The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the reference rate for the dollar at Rs. 44.97 and the euro at Rs. 63.98.

The rupee moved down further to Rs. 73.69/71 against the pound sterling from Monday’s close of Rs. 73.23/25 and also remained weak against the euro to Rs. 64.02/04 from Rs. 63.78/80 previously.

It eased against the yen to Rs. 55.47/49 per 100 yen from its last close of Rs. 55.43/45.

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