Rising for the third straight day, the rupee on Thursday strengthened by 10 paise to close at 53.70 against the US dollar following firm local stock markets and fresh capital inflows worth over USD 60 million.
Sustained dollar sales by exporters and banks on behalf of their clients also boosted rupee sentiment even as the dollar index was marginally up in overseas markets, said traders.
The rupee commenced weak at 53.85 a dollar from previous close of 53.80 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market (Forex) on Thursday. It immediately touched a low of 53.90 on early dollar demand from importers and a firm dollar overseas.
The local currency, however, erased losses on dollar sales by exporters and further rise in domestic equities.
The rupee touched an intra-day high of 53.69, before settling at 53.70, displaying a rise of 10 paise or 0.19 per cent.
FIIs bought shares worth Rs. 334.61 crore (approx USD 62.3 million) as per provisional data on the BSE.
In the last three days, rupee has risen by 38 paise or 0.71 per cent largely aided by dollar sales.
Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India) said: “Rupee extended its gains during the session on a positive tone in equity markets and fresh capital flows. Exporters selling at higher levels also kept a check on the weakness in rupee.”
Forex dealers said rupee today largely ignored strength in the dollar index. The index was up 0.05 per cent against a basket of currencies as traders get ready to digest a flood of US economic data on Thursday, followed by Friday’s important nonfarm payrolls data and next week’s Presidential polls.
“Rupee was seen trading in a very thin range of just 23 paise due to lack of domestic as well as global news,” said Abhishek Goenka, Founder & CEO, India Forex Advisors.
Meanwhile, the Indian stock market benchmark Sensex improved further by 56.32 points led by auto stocks. “Today’s economic data from the US will be very significant from dollar perspective. The rupee is expected to trade in the range if 54.00-54.50 by November end,” Mr. Goenka added.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory activity index and the ADP employment figures for US will be out later this evening.
The premium for the forward dollar closed steady to easy on stray receipts by exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in April softened to 164-166 paise from overnight close of 165-167 paise.
Far-forward contracts maturing in October, however, ended at its overnight closing level of 298-300 paise.
The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 53.7798 and for euro at 69.7105.
The rupee fell back against the pound sterling to 86.82 from Wednesday’s close of 86.72, while it recovered to 69.57 per euro from 70.00.
The rupee firmed up further against the Japanese yen to 67.11 per 100 yen from previous close of 67.42.