The rupee today staged a smart recovery from its three-week low against the US currency to close up by 23 paise at 66.71 on heavy corporate dollar sales as well as easing inflationary pressure. Better-than-expected consumer inflation data supported the recovery momentum, a dealer said.
However, lackluster performance in domestic equities alongside a strong dollar overseas limited the rupee appreciation, the dealer said.
Retail inflation in September dropped to 13-month low of 4.31 per cent, while wholesale inflation eased to 3.57 per cent in the month, creating headroom for further rate cut by Reserve Bank in coming months.
The Reserve Bank on October 4 had restarted the easing cycle with a 0.25 pecentage point cut in the key repo rate.
The rupee today resumed on a firm footing at 66.85 compared to last closing level of 66.94 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange due to selling of the US currency by exporters.
It strengthened further to hit a fresh intra-day high of 66.70 before concluding at 66.71, revealing a smart rise of 23 paise, or 0.34 per cent.
The rupee had lost 41 paise, its biggest one-day fall in over three months, to end at three-week low of 66.94 against the dollar yesterday on fears that the US Federal Reserve may go for rate hike by the end of this year.
In worldwide trade, the US dollar remained on firm ground against all major emerging market currencies ahead of US retail sales report. The dollar index, which measures its broader strength against a basket of currencies was up 0.38 per cent at 97.90.
RBI today fixed the reference rate for dollar at 66.8481 and euro at 73.6867.
In cross-currency trades, the rupee hardened further against the pound sterling to settle at 81.58 as compared with 81.65 and rose against the euro to finish at 73.43 from 73.79 previously.
It also regained against the Japanese yen to settle at 63.98 from 64.53 per 100 yens earlier.
In the forward market, premium for dollar showed somewhat easy trend owing to lack of market moving factors.
The benchmark six-month premium for March softened to 166-168 paise from 166.5-168.5 paise and the forward-September 2017 contract also eased to 344-346 paise from 344.5-346.5 paise yesterday.
The BSE Sensex edged up 30.49 points to settle at 27,673.60, while broder Nifty gained 10.05 points at 8,583.40.
Foreign portfolio investors today sold shares worth Rs 946.42 crore on net basis, provisional exchange data showed.
FPIs had withdrawn a total Rs 2,726.09 crore from debt and equity markets yesterday.
Meanwhile, Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 306.74 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. The BSE benchmark Sensex fell marginally by 12.31 points or 0.04 per cent to close at 28,339.31 today. In forward market today, premium for dollar inched up on mild paying pressure from corporates. The benchmark six-month premium payable in July ended stable from its previous level to 151-153 paise and far forward January 2017 contract inched up to 302-304 from Monday's closing level of 301-303. The RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 66.9439 and for the euro at 71.0877. In cross-currency trades, the rupee ended higher against the pound sterling at 83.46/48 from 83.96/98 and also rose against the euro to settle at 71.03/05 from 71.35/37. While, it fell against the Japanese Yen to 59.04/06 per yen from 58.92/94 yesterday.