Mumbai:  Paring early losses, the rupee on Wednesday gained 19 paise against the US dollar to close at a 13-week high of 49.27/28 amid FII inflows into Indian equities and continued selling of the American currency by exporters.

Forex dealers said dollar was under pressure in the overseas market as well.

The rupee moved between 49.23 and 49.70 against the dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, before closing 19 paise, or 0.38 percent stronger, at 49.27/28, the highest level since November 4.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark index Sensex closed higher by 107 points at 17,300.58.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), which sold shares worth USD 16.09 million on January 30, infused USD 129.83 million yesterday, according to SEBI data.

Persistent dollar selling by exporters and some banks on expectations of further fall the US currency overseas on hopes of the euro to become firm after manufacturing data from Germany, also aided the rupee's value, dealers said.

The dollar index was down by over 0.25 percent against a basket of currencies today, while New York crude oil was trading above USD 99 a barrel in the European market.

Analysts said the rupee tracked local bourses and the euro. Stock markets made good gains on Wednesday on fresh FIIs buying despite opening weak in the morning, they added.

The rupee premium for the forward dollar recovered on fresh paying pressure from banks and corporates.

The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in July recouped slightly to 17701-2/-179-1/2 from 177-179 paise on Tuesday and far-forward contracts maturing in January also rose to 292-294 paise from 288-290 paise.

The RBI has fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 49.5325 and for euro at 64.6569.
    
The rupee improved further against the pound sterling to end at 77.65/67 from Tuesday's close of 78.07/09 and also hardened against the euro to 64.64/66 from 65.28/30.
   
It, however, ended a tad lower against the Japanese yen at 64.77/79 per 100 yen from last close of 64.76/78.

(Agencies)