Rupee ends at over 3-week high of 45.30/31 against dollar

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Mumbai, Feb 8 (PTI) The rupee today completed its six-session-long rally and closed 18 paise up at an overthree-week high of 45.30/31 against the US currency onsustained sale of dollars by exporters and banks amid a weakgreenback overseas.

Forex dealers said that there was sustained dollarselling by exporters and some banks on the back of weak dollaroverseas, which mainly supported the rupee rise.

Lack of any major dollar demand from importers, mainlyoil refiners, also aided the rupee sentiment, they added.

Global crude oil was trading above USD 86 a barrel inLondon today.

Meanwhile, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensexclosed sharply lower by 261.49 points or 1.45 per cent to7-month low on all-round sell-off on fears of further hike ininterest rates by the apex bank to tame the escalatinginflation.

In active trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex)market, the local currency opened strong at 45.37/38 a dollarfrom the previous close of 45.48/49.

It later moved in a range of 45.45 and 45.22 beforeending the day at 45.30/31. In straight six-sessions of rally,the rupee gained 60 paise or 1.31 per cent.

The dollar index, gauging of six major currencies, wasdown by about 0.25 per cent in European market today.

The rupee premium for the forward dollar remained weak onsustained receivings by exporters. The benchmark six-monthforward dollar premium payable in July ended down at 131-133paise from Monday''s close of 135-1/2-137-1/2 paise.

Far-forward contracts maturing in January also settledlower at 263-265 paise from 270-272 paise previously.

The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the reference ratefor the dollar at Rs 45.39 and the euro at Rs 61.84.

The rupee continued to rule firm and closed at Rs73.04/06 against the pound sterling from Monday''s close of Rs73.25/27 and ended a bit higher against the yen to Rs 55.22/24per euro from Rs 55.23/25 previously.

It, however, fell back to Rs 61.84/86 per euro from itslast close of Rs 61.63/65.

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