Rupee rose marginally early on Friday as gains in other Asian shares raised expectations of more foreign fund inflows, but the dollar's strength against other majors stemmed a sharper rise.
At 9:10 a.m the partially convertible rupee was at 49.72/73 per dollar, little stronger than its Thursday's close of 49.77/78, when it rose to 49.34, its strongest in since Feb. 17.
Foreigners have bought $1.4 billion worth of shares since mid-March, a key factor that has helped the rupee rise nearly 5 per cent from its record low of 52.2 against the dollar hit on March 3.
Most Asian stock markets were up between 1-2 per cent. Nifty futures in Singapore were up 1.1 per cent pointing to a firmer start in the local market. One-month offshore non-deliverable forward rupee contracts were at 49.82/92.
The dollar index, a gauge of the U.S. unit's performance against majors, was up 0.3 per cent, preventing a sharper rise in the rupee.