MUMBAI: The rupee appreciated by 14 paise Friday to close at 71.31 against the US dollar on persistent foreign fund inflows even as the greenback strengthened overseas amid fresh concerns over global growth.
This is the fourth successive session of gain for the domestic currency, during which it has climbed 49 paise.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the rupee opened stronger at 71.37 a dollar.
The local unit moved in a range of 71.44 to 71.03, before finally ending at 71.31, showing a gain of 14 paise.
The rupee Thursday appreciated by 11 paise to close at 71.45 against the US dollar.
On a weekly-basis, however, the domestic currency registered a loss of 6 paise.
"Reduction in interest rates and relaxation of foreign investment limits bodes well for the rupee in expectation of overseas inflows.
"So far this month, overseas investors bought USD 297.10 million in equity while they sold worth USD 304.70 million in debt market," said V K Sharma, Head - PCG and Capital Markets Strategy at HDFC Securities.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.7 per cent to 95.57.
Fears of a global economic slowdown resurfaced after US President Donald Trump said he does not expect to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline in trade war negotiations between the two superpowers.
A top White House adviser Thursday said Washington and Beijing were still a "sizeable distance" apart in the trade talks, and no date has been set for a meeting between the countries' leaders.
Forex traders said firming crude oil prices and heavy selling in domestic equities weighed on the local unit.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading at USD 61.78 per barrel, higher by 0.24 per cent.
Indian equity markets closed sharply lower Friday, led by a selloff in auto and metal stocks.
The BSE Sensex cracked 424.61 points, or 1.15 per cent, to finish at 36,546.48, while the NSE Nifty slumped 125.80 points, or 1.14 per cent to 10,943.60.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 843.73 crore, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 960.04 crore Friday, provisional data showed.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 71.2949 and for rupee/euro at 80.8304.
The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 92.2936 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 64.98.