Mumbai, Sep 22 (UNI) The Rupee today gained by 37 paise to settle firm at 45.45 against the US dollar from its previous day's close of 45.82 on good dollar demand from oil companies and local bankers.
Rupee pared some of its gains after the local stock market turned negative after a strong start, and offshore related dollar demand kept some pressure on the local unit. The partially convertible rupee fluctuated in a narrow range between 45.24 and 45.58 and ended higher at 45.45 per dollar from its last close of 45.82 at close last Friday.
It strengthened as much as 45.23 in early deals. ''The rupee opened stronger tracking gains in Asian stocks, but there was some pressure from the offshore side,'' a dealer with a private bank said. India's main share index opened up 1.2 per cent tracking gains in Asian markets, but soon turned negative on lingering worries about the global economy.
Foreign funds have sold shares worth USD 1.8 billion so far in September. That has taken the outflow to USD 9.1 billion in 2008, after buying a record .4 billion last year. Dealers said some banks were seen buying dollars locally and selling them offshore, to cash in on the price differential.
Dealers said banks unwound their long dollar positions to buy rupees to tide over tight cash conditions in the local money market, which also helped the rupee strengthen in early trade.
Rupee rallied as dollar demand from oil companies also weighed.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today fixed the reference rate for US dollar at Rs 45.40 per unit, down by 92 paise, against Friday's rate of Rs 46.32 per dollar. The reference rate for Euro declined by 16 paise at Rs 65.74 per unit, from Friday's close of Rs 65.90 per unit, a RBI release said.
However. The six-month and annualised forward dollar premium was quoted higher at 1.72 (1.42) per cent and 1.40 (1.17) per cent respectively.
The Rupee ended the day a gainer at 66.28/30 (65.17/19) per unit against the Euro. It closed at 83.66/68 (82.58/60) per unit against the Pound Sterling. Rupee ended at 42.62/64 (42.56/58) per hundred units against the Japanese Yen.
UNI AR OBB NP1847