The rupee appreciated by 4 paise to settle at 71.31 against the US currency amid weakening of the US dollar in overseas markets even as crude oil prices surged. Subdued domestic equity markets and high crude oil prices restricted the gains in the rupee, analysts said.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened at 71.36 against the US dollar. During the day, the domestic unit saw a high of 71.30 and a low of 71.39.
The domestic unit finally settled at 71.31, higher by 4 paise over the previous closing price. On December 27, the rupee had settled at 71.35 against the American currency.
"Rupee traded with flat range trade between 71.28-71.41 mainly due to oil importers are buying dollars frequently for their month-end outflows," LKP Securities Senior Research Analyst (Commodity & Currency) Jateen Trivedi said.
According to V K Sharma, Head - PCG & Capital Market Strategy, HDFC securities, "Indian rupee gains following weaker dollar index versus major trading currencies. The trading activity remained muted on global forex markets ahead of New Year holiday".
On the domestic market front, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 17.14 points, or 0.04 percent, lower at 41,558. The broader NSE Nifty, however, closed 10.05 points, or 0.08 percent, higher at 12,255.85.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net buyers in the capital markets, as they purchased shares worth Rs 81.37 crore on December 27, exchange data showed.
Market participants, however said that rising crude prices weighed on the local currency.
Brent futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.66 percent to $68.61 per barrel.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.11 per cent to 96.80.
The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.51 percent on December 30.
"The benchmark 10 year bond yield steady at 6.51 percent on central banks open market operation. RBI has conducted second successful “Operation Twist” of Rs 100 billion in Monday's session," Sharma said.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 71.2214 and for rupee/euro at 79.1859. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 92.5532 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 65.04.