Mumbai: The rupee rose to its highest in more than 15 months on Monday as demand was triggered by the dollar’s fall on weak US payrolls data and expectations of steady rates in the United States.
The partially convertible rupee ended at 45.34/35 per dollar, off an early high of 45.2850, its strongest since September 2008, but still 0.90% above Friday’s close of 45.75/76.
“We had a lot of exporters coming and dumping the dollar, which pushed up the rupee. Tomorrow’s movement would depend on where the dollar is and how the stocks open,” said a senior trader with a foreign bank.
“There were good FII (foreign institutional investor) flows too,” he added.
The dollar fell broadly after data on Friday showed US employers cut 85,000 jobs last month and St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank president James Bullard said rates may remain low for quite some time.
The index of the dollar against six major currencies was down 0.7%.
The BSE benchmark Sensex erased early gains of more than 1% to end the day 0.1% lower. The index had gained 81% in 2009.
Foreign fund investments into local shares are a key driver for the rupee. Last year inflows of more than $17 billion helped the rupee climb more than 12% from a record low of 52.2 in March, and it rose 4.7% on the year as a whole.
So far in 2010, foreign investors have bought about $800 million worth of Indian shares and the rupee is up about 2.6%.
One-month offshore non-deliverable forwards contracts were quoted at 45.27/37, little changed from the onshore spot rate.
In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month contracts on the National Stock Exchange and MCX-SX were both quoting at 45.4025 and 45.3975 respectively.