Mumbai: The rupee appreciated by 18 paise to close at 71.78 against the American currency on Friday, extending gains for a second day on the back of easing crude oil prices and positive trends in equity markets.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened at 71.80 against the US dollar. It fluctuated between a high of 71.68 and a low of 71.87 in day trade.
On Thursday, the rupee had closed at 71.96 against the American currency. On a weekly basis, the local unit lost 50 paise. "Rupee has been retracing its losses for last two sessions.
From the low of 72.25 registered on November 14, the rupee has retraced back to 71.80 levels. However, we believe that primary trend of the rupee is bearish and it is likely to find resistance around 71.50 odd levels," said V K Sharma, Head - PCG & Capital Market Strategy, HDFC Securities.
Sharma further said Brent crude has been finding resistance at 63 odd levels that has supported the rupee up to some extent, while the Dollar Index was mostly flat amid a lull in news ahead of more US economic data later in the day.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, eased 0.66 per cent to USD 61.87 per barrel in futures trade.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell by 0.03 per cent to 98.13.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 562.05 crore on Thursday, provisional exchange data showed. The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.52 per cent.
On the domestic markets front, after rallying over 363 points during the day, the 30-share Sensex ended 70.21 points, or 0.17 per cent, higher at 40,356.69. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rose 23.35 points, or 0.20 per cent, to end at 11,895.45.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 72.0501 and for rupee/euro at 79.2359. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 92.4273 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 66.28....