Mumbai: The rupee opened on a strong note and rose 17 paise to 68.86 against the US dollar in early trade Monday tracking gains in domestic equities, even as crude oil prices firmed up.

Forex traders said, rupee appreciated on reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Donald Trump at the G20 summit have agreed to re-launch the stalled negotiations to end the trade war.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened on strong at 68.96, then gathered momentum and rose to a high of 68.86 against the US dollar, showing 17 paise gain over its previous closing.

The local unit, however, pared some gains and was quoted at 68.89 against the American currency at 0947 hrs.

The rupee had settled at 69.03 against the US dollar Friday.The rupee had settled at 69.03 against the US dollar Friday.

Forex dealers said, the current account deficit data also supported the rupee. According to Reserve Bank of India, the March 2019 quarter current account deficit more than halved to USD 4.6 billion or 0.7 per cent from 1.8 per cent in March 2018.

However, foreign fund outflows and rising crude oil prices weighed on the domestic currency.

Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 513.91 crore Friday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 2.60 per cent to trade at USD 66.42 per barrel.

Domestic bourses opened on a bullish note Monday with benchmark indices Sensex trading 237.78 points higher at 39,632.42 and Nifty up 67.05 points at 11,855.90

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