Rupee rises to over 5-1/2-month high of 43.98 versus US dollar

Exporters and banks preferred to reduce their dollar position in view of persistent capital inflows from FIIs into the equity markets.

The dollar fell to a near 15-month low against the euro today in Asian markets as crude oil rose to a two-and-a-half year high.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) have bought shares worth nearly USD 2.68 billion since March 22.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the local unit opened higher at 44.08/10 per dollar against yesterday's closing level of 44.20/21 per dollar and moved up further to 43.98 before quoting at 44.00/01 per dollar at 1030 hours.

It moved in a range between 43.98 and 44.15 per dollar in morning deals.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices stayed above multi-year highs today, supported by continued tensions in the Arab world and the postponement of elections in Nigeria, Africa's biggest crude producer.

New York's benchmark West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for May delivery rose 55 cents to USD 110.85 per barrel after touching its highest level in two-and-a-half years in US trade yesterday.

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