Mumbai, Mar 9: The rupee today gained 44 paise to close below the 50-mark at 49.84/85 against the US currency amid a surge in equity markets and sustained selling of the dollar by exporters and some banks.
The local currency moved between 49.83 and 50.0350 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Foreign) market, before closing 44 paise higher than its last close.
Forex dealers said signs of strong capital inflows helped the rupee to notch up smart gains.
Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex today snapped its three-day losing streak and bounced back by nearly 358 points to close at 17,503.24, which mainly supported the rupee's value.
“Rupee traded strong against the dollar taking cues from strengthening of local equities to appreciate more than 0.85 per cent,” Alpari Financial Services (India) CEO said Pramit Brahmbhatt said.
The rupee premium for the forward dollar improved further on sustained paying from banks and corporates.
The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in August ended up at 174-176 paise from last close of 169-1/2-171-1/2 paise and far-forward contracts maturing in February also settled strong at 300-302 paise from 290-292 paise.
The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 50.0150 and for euro at 66.1776.
The rupee strengthened further against the pound sterling to end at Rs 78.66/68 from Wednesday's close of Rs 79.09/11 and also firmed up against the euro to Rs 65.90/92 from Rs 66.07/09 previously.
It, however, recovered sharply against Japanese yen at Rs 60.92/94 per 100 yen from last close of Rs 62.29/31.