Mumbai: The rupee appreciated by 9 paise to 72.46 against the US dollar in opening trade on Thursday, supported by positive domestic equity markets and easing crude prices.

However, a strong US dollar against major currencies overseas restricted the rupee rise, forex dealers said.

At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 72.48 against the US dollar, then inched higher to 72.46, registering a rise of 9 paise over its previous close.

On Wednesday, the rupee had settled at 72.55 against the American currency.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 292.68 points higher at 50,094.30, and the broader NSE Nifty rose 90.50 points to 14,811.80.

After its two-day policy meeting, the US Fed reassured investors that it expects to keep its key interest rate near zero through 2023.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, surged 0.10 per cent to 91.53.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.69 per cent to USD 67.53 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital market as they bought shares worth Rs 2,625.82 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.

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