The rupee gained 21 paise to 53.87 against the American currency in late morning trade on fresh selling of dollars by banks ahead of the Reserve Bank’s policy meeting.

The rupee resumed marginally lower at 54.10 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market on good dollar demand from banks on the back of higher dollar in the overseas market.

The local unit, however, recovered initial losses and rose to 53.86 before quoting at 53.87 at 1040 hrs on selling of dollars by banks.

In New York, the US dollar edged up as Hurricane Sandy menaced the East Coast yesterday, sparking modest, haven— related buying in thin trade as market participants braced for the potential devastation from the storm.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex firmed up by 41 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 18,676.53 at 1045 hrs.

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