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Rupee at 19-mth high on buoyant shares, inflows

business Updated: Apr 05, 2010 19:30 IST
Anurag Joshi
Anurag Joshi
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Rupee strengthened to a 19-month peak on Monday as local shares closed at their highest level in 25 months, and accumulated dollar inflows from holidays last week underpinned sentiment.

The partially convertible rupee ended at 44.44/45 per dollar, more than 1 percent stronger than Wednesday's close at 44.89/90.

It had touched an intraday peak of 44.43, its strongest since September 8, 2008.

The market was closed last Thursday for the annual book closing of banks and the following day for Good Friday.

"There was heavy supply from two days of holidays. Most of it was portfolio and exporter-linked dollar inflows," said a senior dealer with a foreign bank, who expected the rupee to trade in a range of 44.40 to 44.60 against the dollar on Tuesday.

The benchmark BSE share index ended at its highest close since February 2008 in line with gains in other Asian stock markets. Foreign capital into local stock markets is a key driver of the rupee.

Analysts and traders expect the Indian currency to strengthen further in the current fiscal year that began on April 1. A Reuters poll of forex strategists on BRIC currencies last Tuesday showed the rupee strengthening to 43.53 against the dollar by March 2011, supported by buoyant growth in Asia's third-biggest economy.

The dollar eased against the yen as traders cashed in on the US currency's rise to its highest in more than seven months earlier in the day.

One-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were at 44.49/50, slightly weaker than the onshore spot rate.

In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange and MCX-SX were at 44.5375 and 44.54 respectively.