Mumbai: The Indian rupee Thursday bounced back by 25 paise to close at over one-month high level of 53.96 against US dollar on a rally in local equities and fresh dollar selling by traders enthused by a lower trade deficit.
A weak dollar overseas and a further fall in prices of key commodities including crude oil also helped the rupee, a forex dealer said.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the local unit resumed better at 54.14 a dollar from previous close of 54.21 and immediately touched a low of 54.24.
With government saying March trade deficit stood at USD 10.31 billion from USD 13.5 billion in March last year, the rupee rebounded in line with a smart rally in domestic equities to touch a high of 53.95.
It finally concluded at 53.96, exhibiting a net rise of 25 paise or 0.46 percent.
"The rupee gained amid trade data, positive comments from the Commerce Minister and the positive closing of Indian stock markets," said Abhishek Goenka, Founder & CEO, India Forex Advisors.
Seeking to boost exports which slipped 1.76 percent in 2012-13, government today unveiled a slew of incentives for exporters and announced a package to revive SEZs.
Brent crude oil futures fell to USD 98-level in overseas markets, strengthening hopes that inflation slide further and give more headroom to RBI to cut rates, forex analysts said.
The Indian stock market benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Thursday closed up by a robust 285.30 points or 1.52 percent while FIIs bought shares worth Rs 206.68 crore yesterday, as per provisional data with stock exchanges.
The dollar index was down by 0.14 percent against a basket of six major global rivals on expectations of a interest rate cut by the European Central Bank and caution ahead of an Italian presidential vote.
Meanwhile, the premium for the forward dollar dropped further on sustained receipts by exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in September dipped to 163-1/2-165-1/2 paise from previous close of 168-170 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in March also tumbled to 329-1/1-331-1/2 paise from 339-341 paise.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 54.0298 and for the euro at 70.4933.
The rupee remained firm against the pound sterling to end at 82.38 from last close of 82.65 while recovered against the euro to 70.48 from 71.16.
It also bounced back against the Japanese yen to 54.85 per 100 yen from overnight close of 55.46.