Mumbai: The rupee rallied by 21 paise to close at 70.28 against the US dollar on Wednesday on easing crude oil prices even as the greenback strengthened vis-a-vis other major currencies.
Forex traders said heavy buying in domestic equities and robust foreign fund inflows also propped up the rupee. This is the second successive session of gain for the domestic currency, during which it has climbed 64 paise.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the rupee opened on a weak note at 70.60. Intra-day, it fluctuated between 70.67 and 70.25, before finally closing at 70.28, up 21 paise over its previous close. On Tuesday, the rupee had rebounded by 43 paise to finish at 70.49 against the US dollar.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading at USD 65.61 per barrel, lower by 0.38 per cent. Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.07 per cent to 96.92. "Dollar is trading up for the sixth consecutive session as the market awaits developments in US-China trade talks after the failure of Kim-Trump summit," said V K Sharma, Head PCG & Capital Markets Strategy, HDFC Securities.
The BSE Sensex furthered its gains for the third straight session Wednesday, rising over 193 points to 36,636.10. The NSE gauge Nifty also rose over 65 points to close above the psychologically key 11,000 level. Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) purchased shares worth Rs 1,130.78 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) offloaded equities to the tune of Rs 878.45 crore Wednesday, provisional data showed.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 70.5798 and for rupee/euro at 79.7660. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 92.7197 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 63.13.