Rupee up 26 paise at 51.20/21 against dollar

Mumbai: Extending gains for the second straight day, the rupee today closed 26 paise higher at 51.20/21, fresh two-week high-level, against the US dollar, amid a rise in stocks and sustained dollar selling by exporters and some corporates. After opening lower at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the rupee bounced back in line with a smart rally in local stocks and touched a new two-week high of 51.20/21.

The BSE benchmark index, Sensex, meanwhile moved up 363 points to 16,846.83, completing three-sessions of gains. FIIs injected USD 201.97 million in two days since November 30 as per the Sebi data. The rupee premium for the forward dollar remained firm on persistent paying pressure from banks and corporates.

The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in may ended up at 118-120 paise from Thursday`s close of 114-116 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in November also ended strong at 197-200 paise from 185-187 paise previously. The Reserve Bank fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at Rs 51.3523 and for the euro at Rs 69.1380.

The rupee improved further against the pound sterling to finish at Rs 80.34/36 from Thursday`s close of Rs 80.82/84 and also hardened to Rs 69.11/13 per euro from Rs 69.34/36 previously. It too shot up against the Japanese yen to Rs 65.67/69 per 100 yen from last close or Rs 66.25/27.