A customer holds an Indian one hundred rupee banknote (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Rupee Gains 49 Paise To End At 70.74 Per U.S. Dollar

The rupee rebounded by 49 paise to close at 70.74 against the U.S. dollar as investors wagered on de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan on Thursday.

Strong foreign fund inflows, a weakening dollar and slipping oil prices also propped up the local unit, analysts said.

In a surprise announcement, Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan told a joint session of Parliament that IAF's captured pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be released on Friday as a gesture of peace.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange market, the domestic unit opened slightly up at 71.22. It rose to an intra-day high of 70.70, before finally ending at 70.74.

The domestic currency closed at 71.25 against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday.

India rupee gained after two days of weakness against U.S. dollar on chances of de-escalation of tension with Pakistan. Beside dollar weakness, the foreign fund inflows in domestic equity and lower crude oil prices bode well for rupee.

"So far this month, overseas investors have bought $2.31 billion in domestic equity," said VK Sharma, head PCG and Capital Markets Strategy at HDFC Securities.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, dropped 0.22 percent to 95.94 as U.S. President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without an agreement.

The pound slipped from its highest against the dollar since July and a 21-month high against the euro after opposition Labour Party's alternative plan was rejected.

Meanwhile, foreign investors remained net buyers in the capital markets, putting in Rs 3,210.60 crore on a net basis on Thursday, as per provisional data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, slipped 0.92 percent to $65.83 per barrel on rise in the U.S. crude oil output and weaker Chinese manufacturing data.

The BSE benchmark Sensex ended marginally lower on Thursday after investors squared-off positions as February derivative contracts expired.

The 30-share index dropped 37.99 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 35,867.44. The broader NSE Nifty also fell 15.70 points, or 0.13 percent, to 10,792.50.