Extending its rally for the sixth straight session, the rupee today surged to a fresh 2-1/2 month high of 67.08 by gaining another 26 paise against the American currency on persistent selling of dollars by banks and exporters.
Robust FII inflows into the equities and debt predominantly supported the domestic currency to sustain its momentum for the sixth consecutive day.
Significant liberalisation of FDI norms in a host of sectors including insurance, pension, ARCs and stock exchanges in the Union Budget to attract more foreign investment and the government’s commitment to its fiscal deficit target also largely weighed on the trade.
Maintaining its strong edge against the dollar, the home unit resumed higher at 67.25 as compared to Thursday’s closing value of 67.34 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market owing to smooth supply of dollars from banks.
It gained further ground tracking sluggish dollar overseas sentiment and kept the momentum going till the fag-end to conclude at 67.08, revealing a solid rise of 26 paise, or 0.39 per cent – its strongest close since 67.09 on December 14, 2015.
For the week, it has shot up by a whopping 154 paise, or 2.24 per cent.
Meanwhile, the domestic equity markets consolidated at nearly a one-month high after the three-day magnificent rally – its longest post-Budget rally ever seen.
On global trade, the dollar traded little changed against the other major currencies as investors turned caution ahead of highly anticipated US non-farm payrolls data due later in the day.
It had weakened overnight following a string of downbeat US data which dampened optimism over the strength of the economy.
The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 97.59, down 0.02 per cent.
The market index Sensex firmed up by 39.49 points to settle at 24,646.48, while 50-share Nifty added by 9.75 points to 7,485.35.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) remained a net buyer after a long spell of selling spree as data showed they bought shares worth Rs 911.98 crore in yesterday’s trade.
In forward market, premium for dollar rose sharply due to paying pressure from corporates.
The benchmark six-month premium for August firmed up to 225-227 paise from 221-223 paise and far-forward February contract also climbed to 430-432 paise compared to 425-427 paise yesterday.
The RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 67.27 and euro at 73.66.
In cross-currency trades, the rupee declined further against the pound sterling to end at 94.89 from overnight finish of 94.67 and fell back against the euro to close at 73.67 from 73.28 earlier.
The domestic unit, however, recovered against the yen to settle at 58.96 per 100 yens from 59.09 yesterday.