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Mumbai: The rupee appreciated by 19 paise to 70.98 against the US dollar in opening trade Monday, driven by weakening of the greenback in overseas markets and easing crude prices.

The rupee opened strong at 70.99 at the interbank forex market then gained further ground and touched 70.98 amid easing crude prices, displaying gains of 19 paise against the greenback over its last close.

The rupee Friday weakened by 10 paise to close at 71.17 against the US dollar.

Forex dealers said, easing crude oil prices and selling of the American currency by exporters supported the rupee, while a lower opening in domestic equity market restricted the uptrend.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading lower at per 61.36 barrel lower by 0.45 per cent.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex was trading lower by 180.02 points, or 0.50 per cent to quote at 35,845.52 while the NSE Nifty was trading at 10,719.85, down 60.70 points, or 0.56 per cent.

Forex traders said, fresh foreign fund inflows also supported the rupee up move.

Foreign funds purchased shares worth Rs 689.28 crore from the capital markets on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 147.35 crore Friday, provisional data showed.




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