Mumbai: The rupee maintained its firmer undertone against the dollar for the third straight day and ended at 66.61 on sustained selling of the American unit by banks and exporters. Besides, dollar’s weakness against other currencies overseas on the back of prevailing state of uncertainty over the pace of Fed rate hike alongside robust capital inflows predominantly supported the domestic currency to sustain its momentum. The home currency opened substantially lower at 66.75 as compared to last weekend’s close of 66.65 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) and lost further ground slightly to hit a intra-day low of 66.79 due to initial dollar demand.
However, notwithstanding the massive slide in domestic bourses, the rupee made a smart recovery towards the tail-end trade to touch a high of 66.60 before ending at 66.61, showing a gain of 4 paise, or 0.06 per cent. It has appreciated by a good 41 paise in three-day move. Meanwhile, the market regulator Sebi last week offered direct entry to well-regulated foreign investors for investing in corporate bonds and relaxed the norms for raising funds through infrastructure and real estate investment trusts.
In the meantime, the greenback traded narrowly mixed against other major currencies in the Asian session as traders attention focused on the outcome of the US presidential debate later in the day amid ongoing uncertainty over the timing of the next US rate hike. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.25 per cent at 95.17.
Meanwhile, RBI fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 66.70 and euro at 74.88. In cross-currency trades, the rupee rose further against the pound sterling to end at 86.15 from 86.39, while fell back modestly against the euro to settle at 74.95 as compared to 74.75 last Friday. It also retreated against the Japanese yen to close at 66.34 from 66.13 per 100 yens earlier.