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Rupee at 19-month high on dollar
April, 12th 2010

The rupee touched a fresh 19-month high on Monday, as the euro rose to its highest in nearly a month against the dollar, but weaker stockmarkets limited the local currency's gains. At 10:30 a.m., the partially convertible rupee was at 44.25/26 per dollar, slightly stronger than Friday's close of 44.28/29.

It earlier touched a peak of 44.18 -- its strongest since Sept. 8, 2008, according to Thomson Reuters data. "There is plenty of dollar supplies from exporters and corporates," said a trader at a private bank. The euro gained 1 percent against the dollar and yen after euro zone finance ministers approved a 30 billion euro ($40.5 billion) aid package of loans for Greece if needed, with 10 billion euros also expected from the International Monetary Fund.

Most Asian currencies also traded higher against the dollar. The benchmark BSE share index was down 0.2 percent, after falling as much as 0.6 percent, taking a pause after the recent rally.

"The rupee reacted to equity markets and dealt 44.30. The dollar movement in overseas markets would have led the rupee to open at 44.10-44.15, but the fall in stock markets checked the gains," said Paresh Nayar, head of FX and money markets at First Rand Bank.

Traders were also watching the impact of foreign inflows due to bidding for India's multi-billion dollar third-generation auction on the near-maturity cash-spot premiums, which traded around 3 percent, little changed from Friday's close.

The one-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were at 44.23/33, near the onshore spot rate. In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange were at 44.3050 and on its rival exchange MCX-SX at 44.3075.

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