The rupee on Thursday gained 26 paise to 53.60 against the dollar in early trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on increased selling of the U.S. currency by exporters.

Forex dealers said strengthening of euro against the dollar overseas and a higher opening in the equity market also supported the rupee.

The local currency had gained 23 paise to close at 53.86 yesterday on dollar selling as Economic Survey strengthened forex market’s expectations of Union Budget taking fiscally prudent steps to attract foreign investors.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark index Sensex rose by 162.86 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 19,315.27 in early trade on Thursday.

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