Extending its gains for the third straight session, the rupee today gained 11 paise to hit a fresh over 18-week high of 53.36 against the US dollar on fag-end selling of the American currency by exporters.
Forex dealers said signs of increased capital inflows amid stable dollar overseas also helped the rupee rally.
The rupee opened higher at 53.38 per dollar against last close of 53.47 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market. But it soon fell to a low of 53.63 on dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, to meet their month-end requirements and also initial hesitancy in local equities.
However, sudden dollar selling by exporters and heavy capital inflows later aided the rupee to bounce back to a high of 53.31 before settling at 53.36, a gain of 11 paise, or 0.21 per cent.
Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex today ended up by just 21.07 points, or 0.11% at 18,694.41.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) pumped in $310.02 million yesterday, after injecting $458.57 million last Friday as per Sebi data.
"The rupee put up a mixed performance primarily gaining on the policy reforms such as the SEB (state electricity board) restructuring and the disinvestment sale of RCF shall aid improvement in government finances. Rupee later reversed its intra-day losses on dollar selling by exporters," Alpari Financial Services (India) CEO Pramit Brahmbhatt said.
The dollar index, a gauge of six major currencies, was down by 0.01%, while New York crude oil was quoting below $93 a barrel in Europe today. "The rupee started the day on a firm note but later traded on lower note after morning session as European debt concerns continued to persist with Spain is delaying the ESM bailout.
"Recent data from Germany showing a drop in the business confidence index also pressurised the currency. It recovered at the fag-end to close in positive," Abhishek Goenka, founder and CEO, India Forex Advisors, said.