Mumbai: The Indian rupee continued to rule firm against the American currency for the second consecutive week by surging another 56 paise to finish at over one-month high of 53.96 per dollar on persistent selling of dollars by banks and exporters in view of renewed capital inflows from foreign funds into equity market.
Hopes of lower current account deficit (CAD) on steep fall in headline inflation and fall in global crude oil prices also boosted the rupee sentiment.
However, Dollar demand from importers restricted the gain to some extent, a forex dealer said.
The rupee resumed lower at 54.65 a dollar from previous weekend's level of Rs 54.52 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market.
But it recovered afterwards to a high of 53.77, level not seen since February 28, 2013 when it had logged a high of 53.60, before finishing at 53.96 per dollar, showing a gain of 56 paise of 1.03 percent from its previous weeks.
The Indian benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose by 774 points or 4.24 percent to finish at 19,016.46. FIIs pumped in Rs 1,484.77 crs during the week including the provisional data of April 18 with stock exchanges.
"It was a mixed session for the Indian rupee amid downbeat trade data, positive comments from the trade minister and the green closing of the Indian stock markets.
The trade deficit widened to USD 190.91 billion in the fiscal year 2013 versus USD 183.4 billion in the previous year. But the trade minister announced certain measures to help boost the export sector in the country, which helped stock markets to close in green and made rupee to register slight gains," said Mr. Abhishek Goenka, Founder and CEO, India Forex Advisors.
Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India) said, "Rupee appreciated taking cues from strong local equities, but the dollar traded firm against major currencies in the global market which capped the INR gain against the mighty.
"Also, the good export data which neared USD 300 bn for the fiscal year ended in March, which was higher than some estimates helped rupee to trade high. Rupee plays an important role in determining the cost of the dollar-quoted gold. If rupee appreciates against the dollar then the dollar quoted gold will be available at cheap rate."
The rupee premium for the forward dollar finished lower on sustained receiving by exporters.
The rupee premium for the benchmark six-month forward dollar payable in September closed down at 163-1/2-165-1/2 paise as against the last weekend's level of 177-1/2-179 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in March also ended lower at 329-1/2-331-1/2 as against 349-350-1/2 paise.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 54.0298 and for euro 70.4933 as against the last weekend's level of 54.4425 and for euro at 71.3310.
The rupee turned higher against the pound sterling to 82.38 from preceding weekend's level of 83.82 and also gained against the euro at 70.48 from from previous weekend's level of 71.18.
It strengthened further against the Japanese yen to settle at 54.85 per 100 yen from last weekend's level of 54.94.