Rupee rose in late trade on Friday as foreign banks unwound long dollar positions and stocks regained, but the unit closed the month 0.3% weaker after shedding nearly a fifth of its value last year.
Gains in stocks eased concerns of rising outflows, helping the partially convertible rupee close at Rs48.87/88 per dollar, 0.2% stronger than its previous close of Rs48.975/985.
“The rupee rose in late trade due to unwinding of long dollar positions by foreign banks ahead of the weekend,” said L. Subramanian, chief dealer with ICICI Bank.
The BSE Sensex shrugged off a shaky start and climbed 2% up on Friday, to post its first weekly rise in four, as domestic funds bought into blue chips.
Foreign investors pulled about $1 billion from the domestic stock markets in January after selling more than $13 billion in 2008.
“The rupee will continue to track the G7 currencies and the global equity markets. The dollar index is bullish, so the rupee might depreciate further or otherwise Rs48.60 to Rs49.25 band should hold for some time,” Subramanian said.
The dollar index, a gauge of the dollar’s performance against other majors, was up 0.5%.
Growing investor caution fuelled broad dollar and yen gains, with poor economic data in Europe and Japan concentrating minds on deepening global concerns ahead of key US growth figures later in the day.