Mumbai: In listless trading, the rupee on Wednesday edged up by just three paise to close at 53.82 against the US dollar amid mild dollar selling by exporters.
Slightly weak dollar overseas and positive capital inflows also supported the rupee rise, forex traders said.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit resumed higher at 53.79 a dollar and touched a high of 53.75 on strong rally in equities as the BSE benchmark Sensex was up by over 160 points in late morning deals.
Later, the rupee fell back to a low of 53.92 before concluding at 53.82, showing a rise of three paise or 0.06 percent. Yesterday, the rupee had settled stable at 53.85.
Dealers said the country's trade balance numbers were inline with expectations as India's exports rose an annual 0.8 percent in January and imports for the month rose 6 percent, leaving a trade deficit of USD 20 billion.
The Indian benchmark Sensex today wiped out major part of its early gains, still closing higher by 47.04 points higher.
The dollar index was also down by 0.03 percent against a basket of six major currencies while New York crude oil was trading near USD 97.5 a barrel in Europe today.
Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India) said: "The rupee witnessed of its narrowest trading range for the day but on a firmer tone after the dollar index edged lower towards the 79.90 levels. The pair lacked momentum and didn't gain much even after a gap down open."
"Tomorrow's WPI numbers shall be in focus as they are expected to move below the three year low on smaller rise or contraction in IIP numbers," Brahmbhatt added.
"The rupee was seen trading in a very thin range of 17 paise. The appreciation in the Euro and the weakness in the dollar index restricted the downside in the rupee.
The domestic data like trade deficit did not have long lasting impact on rupee or stock markets" said Abhishek Goenka, Founder and CEO, India Forex Advisors.
The premium for the forward dollar finished lower on fresh receipts by exporters.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in July ended down at 180-182 paise from Tuesday's close of 181-1/2-183-1/2 paise.
Far-forward contracts maturing in January settled weak at 344-346 paise from 346-348 paise.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 53.8500 and for euro at 72.3970.
The rupee firmed up further against the pound sterling to 83.77 from last close of 84.02 while fell back against the Japanese Yen to 57.50 per 100 yen from 57.14.
It, however, declined further against the euro to 72.60 from previous close of 72.45.
First Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 19:17