Mumbai: The rupee continued to rule firm for the third consecutive week by surging 103 paise to end at more than five weeks high of 61.41 against the American currency on persistent selling of dollars by banks and exporters after exit polls predicted a strong showing by the BJP in the recently concluded Assembly elections.
Persistent foreign capital inflows into the local equity market also boosted the rupee value against the dollar, a forex dealer said.
The rupee resumed higher at 62.35 per dollar as against the last weekend's level of 62.44 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market and firmed up further to a one-month high of 61.40 per dollar before ending the week at 61.41 per dollar, showing a gain of 103 paise or 1.65 per cent from its last weekend's level.
It has gained by 170 paise or 2.69 percent in the three weeks.
It hovered in a range of 61.40 and 62.55 per dollar during the week.
Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India) Pvt Ltd, said, "The rupee continued to trade positively for the third week and for the week it appreciated by almost one & half percent to trade near one month high mainly taking cues from the exit polls that showed the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party stands strong chances of victory in general elections due by May".
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, extended its downward slide for the fourth consecutive week after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled that the bank doesn't have any immediate plans to ease policy further, pushing the euro further up to trade at five week high.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in May closed the week at 248-250 paise. Far-forward contracts maturing in November ended at 485-487 paise.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 61.6673 and for the euro to 84.2546 from 62.3948 and 84.9755 last weekend, respectively.
The rupee bounced back against the pound sterling to 100.47 from last weekend's close of 101.98, while shot up further against the Japanese yen to 60.16 per 100 yen from preceding weekend's close of 61.02.
It too hardened against the euro to 83.98 from previous weekend's level of 84.98.