Mumbai, May 25 (PTI) The Indian rupee today clocked its biggest single-session rally, surging by a whopping 56 paise to close at 67.78 against the US dollar amid a rise in local equities and cooling global crude oil prices. Also Read - Not Just His Dog, US President-Elect Joe Biden Will Bring His Cat to The White House Too

This is the best single-day rise for the home currency since March 14, 2017. The rupee today touched a high of 67.70 in the intra-day trade. Also Read - 7 Indians Kidnapped in Libya Released, to Return to Their Homes After Formalities: MEA

It had closed at 68.34 a dollar yesterday after bouncing back from an 18-month low. Also Read - Fears Rise as Libya FM Claims Women-Children Buried Alive by Haftar Forces, UN Chief Expresses Deep Shock as 8 Mass Graves Discovered

“Amidst a strength in local equities, rupee continued to recoup the week’s losses, with solid gains today. Upcoming GDP data and expectations of good monsoon will seek to cool inflationary fears. Currency contracts’ expiry next week also meant that longs were wound down, adding to the pull back in the USD/INR futures,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said.

Forex market witnessed a sudden revival in sentiment towards the mid-session following a sharp pullback in global crude prices, threatening to upset India’s macroeconomic balance this fiscal and derail the worlds fastest-growing large economy.

Global crude prices fell sharply by over 2 per cent, despite multiple production outage fears in major producing countries, either real or prospective, including Venezuela, Libya and Iran.

Brent crude futures, an international benchmark, is trading lower at USD 77.06 a barrel in early Asian trade.

Hardening concerns over fiscal deficit and current account deficit amid rising global crude oil prices have been weighing on the rupee.

Over the past couple of weeks, the rupee has been depreciating sharply against the US dollar.

The big driving part of the rupee’s under-performance was largely due to a sudden spike in global crude prices and country’s worsening trade deficit against the backdrop of a potentially more hawkish Federal Reserve amid escalating global trade war tensions.

A mix of domestic and external factors too made the fundamentals unfavourable for the rupee.

The rupee has been the worst performing Asian currency this year after strengthening over 6 per cent in 2017.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the rupee opened higher at 68.28 from Thursday’s close of 68.34 on sustained selling of the greenback by exporters and banks.

The home currency kept ascending to hit an intra-day high of 67.70 in mid-afternoon deals before ending at 67.78, revealing a smart rise of 56 paise, or 0.82 per cent.

This is the second straight rise for the local unit.

The RBI, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 68.2600 and for the euro at 79.8847.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond maturing in 2028 tumbled to 7.79 per cent from 7.87 per cent.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, was up at 94.

In the cross currency trade, the rupee recovered sharply against the pound sterling to finish at 90.43 per pound from 91.58 earlier.

The local unit strengthened against the euro to end at 79.28 as compared to 80.06 and also rose against the Japanese yen to close at 61.94 per 100 yens from 62.34 yesterday.

In forward market today, premium for dollar witnessed a steep fall due to heavy receiving from exporters.

The benchmark six-month forward premium payable in September drifted to 89.50-91.50 paise from 91-93 paise and the far-forward February 2019 contract dropped to 226-228 paise from 229-231 paise previously.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.