Rupee gains 16 paise vs US dollar in early trade

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Mumbai, Feb 25 (PTI) The Indian rupee was up by 16 paiseto 45.32 against the US dollar in early trade today on freshdollar-selling by exporters and corporates amid firm localequity markets and dollar weakness overseas.

The domestic unit opened higher at 45.40/41 per dollar onthe Interbank Foreign Exchange, as against yesterday''s closinglevel of 45.48/49 per dollar.

It subsequently rose further to 45.32 per dollar beforequoting at 45.36/37 per dollar at 1030 hours.

It moved in a range between 45.32 and 45.42 per dollar inmorning deals.

Fresh dollar-selling by exporters and some banks and abetter opening in the stock market kept the rupee sentimentfirm, a forex dealer said.

The US dollar fell to a record low against the Swissfranc and lost ground against both the Japanese yen and theeuro yesterday as currency traders turned to traditionallysafer investments other than the US dollar in response tosoaring oil prices.

The Indian benchmark Sensex was up by over 114.79 points,or 0.65 per cent, in early trade today.

Meanwhile, crude prices fell in Asian trade today assupply fears eased after oil cartel OPEC promised to boostoutput to make up for any production loss in revolt-hit Libya,analysts said.

New York''s main contract, light sweet crude for Aprildelivery, dipped by 40 cents to USD 96.88 per barrel.

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