The Indian rupee ruled firm for the third consecutive day and moved up 34 paise to 61.41 against the US dollar today, the highest level in more than five weeks, on sales of the US currency by banks and exporters amid foreign capital inflows into the local equity market.
The Indian rupee resumed higher at 61.64 per dollar from yesterday's closing of 61.75 at the interbank foreign exchange market. It hovered in a range of 61.40 to 61.70 before ending at 61.41, a gain of 34 paise or 0.55 per cent. It was the third weekly gain for the local currency.
Banks and exporters preferred to reduce their dollar positions as overseas investors bought local shares. They purchased a net Rs 1,151.51 crore of shares yesterday, according to provisional data from the stock exchanges.
In the global market, the dollar edged higher today ahead of the release of the US jobs report for November, due later in the day. The report may give investors an indication of when the Federal Reserve will ease its stimulus programme.
"Today's non-farm employment change data from the US will be very important as it will provide clues regarding QE (quantitative easing) tapering," said Abhishek Goenka, CEO of India Forex Advisors.
Yesterday in New York, the dollar fell to its lowest level against the euro in more than a month after indications the European Central Bank has no immediate plan to further ease policy.
The local 30-share benchmark Sensex moved up 38.72 points, or 0.18 per cent, to end at 20,996.53.
Forward dollar premiums recovered on fresh payments from banks and corporates.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in May firmed up to 248-250 paise from 244-1/2 to 246-1/2 paise previously and far-forward contracts maturing in November finished higher at 485-487 paise from 479-481 paise.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 61.6673 and for the euro at 84.2546.
The rupee continued to rule firm against the pound at 100.47 as against 101.00 previously and recouped to 60.16 per 100 Japanese yen as compared to 60.54.
It fell marginally to 83.98 against the euro from 83.92.