The rupee appreciated 5 paise to 73.54 against the US dollar in opening trade on Friday as the weakness of the American currency and optimism surrounding the US stimulus aid package supported the domestic unit. Traders said sustained foreign fund inflows also strengthened investor sentiment.
At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened at 73.55 against the greenback, then inched higher and touched 73.54, registering a rise of 5 paise over its previous close. On Thursday, rupee settled flat at 73.59 against US dollar.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading up 0.21 per cent at 90.01. "The dollar crashed on Thursday as hopes of stimulus and Brexit deal improved risk appetite and weighed on the safe haven appeal of the greenback. The dollar index broke below the 90 mark (for the first time) since January 2018," Reliance Securities said in a research note.
However, Asian currencies were weak this morning and RBI could be present in the markets and could cap gains for the domestic unit, the note added. On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 152.49 points lower at 46,737.85, and the broader NSE Nifty fell 47.45 points and was trading at 13,693.25.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 2,355.25 crore on a net basis on Thursday, according to exchange data. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.33 per cent to USD 51.33 per barrel.