Mumbai: The rupee was off highs, but remained strong in afternoon trade on Wednesday, as firm domestic stocks and gains in the euro offset dollar demand from oil importing companies.
At 1:23pm, the partially convertible rupee was at Rs 45.63/64 per dollar, off day’s high of Rs 45.54 touched so far in trade and 0.3% stronger than its previous close of 45.755/765. The unit had weakened to Rs 46.01 on Monday, its lowest since Nov. 30.
Dealers expect the rupee to move in the 45.40-45.70 range intraday.
Shares climbed more than 1% on Wednesday as stronger Asian markets spurred investors to grab bargains, a day after the main index had slid to its lowest close in five months.
The dollar marked its lowest level in nearly three months on Wednesday as a string of robust economic data and easing concerns over Egypt took the steam out of safe-haven buying in the currency.
However, demand for the greenback from oil refiners pulled the rupee off its day’s highs.
Foreign funds were net sellers of $1.4 billion worth of shares in January pushing the rupee down 2.6%. Last year, a record $29.3 billion of fund inflows had helped the rupee gain 4.1%.
The dollar index, a measure of the greenback’s performance against six major currencies, was down 0.10% at 77.006 points.
One-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at Rs 45.85, weaker than the onshore spot rate.
In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, MCX-SX and United Stock Exchange were at 45.8300, 45.8325 and 45.8350 respectively, with the total traded volume at $3 billion.