Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Thursday strengthened for the seventh consecutive session and hit eight week high against the US dollar tracking gains in the local equity and Asian currencies markets.

The home currency closed at 67.38—a level last seen on 8 December 2016, up 0.15% from its previous close of 67.48. The local currency opened at 67.42 a dollar and touched a high of 67.38, a level last seen on 8 December 2016.

India’s benchmark Sensex index rose 0.30% or 84.97 points to closed at 28,226.61. So far this year, Sensex has risen 6%.

The rally in the rupee was also due to continued buying from foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in the local equity markets. FIIs bought nearly $528.86 million in equity over the last eleven trading sessions and have been buyers on all but one trading session during this period.

India’s 10-year bond yield closed at 6.401% from its Wednesday’s close of 6.431%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

Since the beginning of this year, the rupee has gained 0.6%, while FIIs have bought $4.7 million in local equity and sold $262 million in debt markets.

Most Asian currencies were trading higher as dollar weakened after the Fed reiterated its intention on Wednesday to lift rates only gradually.

Traders are cautious ahead of the Bank of England rate decision and its new inflation and growth forecasts. Traders also looking Friday’s jobs report and focusing on any signs of pro growth policies from White House.

South Korean won was up 1%, Japanese yen 0.69%, Singapore dollar 0.26%, China offshore 0.23%, Taiwan dollar 0.22%, Philippines peso 0.14%, Indonesian rupiah 0.13%, Malaysian ringgit 0.12%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 99.44, down 0.2% from its previous close of 99.641

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