The rupee on Friday appreciated by 11 paise to close at a two-week high of 59.56 against the dollar on fag-end sales of the US currency by exporters amid a strong rally in local equities.
Even as sustained capital inflows supported the rupee gain, a smart recovery in the dollar overseas restricted the local currency’s gains, a forex dealer said.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange market, the rupee opened lower at 59.79 from the previous close of 59.67 and dropped further to 60.17 on dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners. The rupee touched a record low of 61.21 on July 8.
A recovery in the dollar index overseas after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments on continuing the monetary stimulus also weighed in on the rupee. The dollar index was up 0.40 per cent against a basket of six other major currencies.
Amid talk of RBI intervention, the rupee later bounced back to a high of 59.55 as domestic shares climbed, before settling at 59.56, a rise of 11 paise or 0.18 per cent.
Subdued import of gold and silver in June pulled down the country’s trade deficit to USD 12.2 billion even as exports contracted 4.56 per cent during the month.
The Sensex today added 282.41 points, or 1.44 per cent, after Infosys, the country’s second-largest software services exporter, kept its dollar revenue guidance unchanged.
Meanwhile, the premium for forward dollars recovered smartly on fresh paying pressure from banks and corporates.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in December finished higher at 171-172 paise from Thursday’s close of 166-1/2-168-1/2 paise.
Far-forward contracts maturing in June also firmed up to 351-353 paise from 342-1/2-343-1/2 paise.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 59.8960 and for the euro at 78.3241.
The rupee turned positive against the pound sterling to end at 89.93 from last close of 90.26 and also recouped against the euro to 77.61 from 77.93.
It rose against the Japanese yen to 59.95 per 100 yen from last close of 60.10