Mumbai: After an overnight pause, the rupee today rose 17 paise to end at 61.90 – its best closing level this year – on dollar selling by exporters and stable capital inflows, helping it post the best weekly gain in five.
A firm dollar overseas ahead of US jobs data also boosted the fortunes of the Indian currency, which closed above the 62-level for the first time since January 1.
The rupee commenced higher at 62.00 a dollar from overnight close of 62.07 and immediately touched a low of 62.01 on initial weakness in local stocks.
It later recovered and firmed up to a high of 61.83 on rise in equities. Trade data showed December exports grew by 3.49 per cent and imports fell 15.25 per cent, helping narrow the trade deficit to USD 10.1 billion in December.
The rupee concluded at 61.90, a gain of 17 paise or 0.27 per cent. Previously, it had closed at 61.90 on January 1.
On a weekly basis, the rupee gained 26 paise from January 3 closing of 62.16. This is the best gain since the period ended December 6, 2013 when the rupee had risen by 103 paise.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex today surrendered a major part of its afternoon gains on fag-end selling and closed with a modest 45-point rise.
FIIs pumped in around USD 10 million after infusing USD 28.08 million yesterday, helping the domestic currency.
The dollar index, an indicator of six major global rivals, was up by 0.10 per cent.
Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services, (India) said: “Rupee appreciated by over quarter percent taking cues from local equities which closed on a positive note while foreign investors continued to sell dollar to invest in the debt market.”
The trading range for the USD/INR pair is expected to be within 61.20 to 62.50, he added.
After markets closed, government data showed industrial production contracted by 2.1 per cent in November 2013.
“This time the markets were seen optimistic about the growth in November,” said India Forex Advisors.
Investors would track inflation scheduled to be released on Monday, experts said.
Meanwhile, forward dollar premiums continued its downward march and finished weak on continued receipts by exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in June 2014 dropped to 231-233 paise from 235-1/2 to 237-1/2 paise previously.
Far-forward contracts maturing in December 2014 also slipped to 466-468 paise from 472-474 paise.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 61.9360 and for the euro at 84.3050.
The rupee bounced back to 101.65 against the pound from last close of 102.15.
It also rebounded to 84.17 per euro from 84.45.
The rupee, however, firmed up further to 58.96 per 100 Japanese yen from 59.15.