The Indian rupee surged by 16 paise to Rs. 44.88 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange in early trade on Thursday, boosted by dollar weakness against other Asian currencies and a higher opening in the stock market.

The rupee had gained 5 paise to close at Rs. 45.04/05 in the previous session on sustained dollar-selling by exporters and banks.

Forex dealers said dollar weakness against other Asian currencies and the euro, in addition to a higher opening in the stock market, supported the rupee gains.

Meanwhile, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex rose by 81.71 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 20,337.74 in opening trade today.

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