Mumbai: The Indian rupee was up by 44 paise at Rs 48.90 per US dollar in early trade on Friday due to persistent selling of the American currency by banks and exporters amid a firming trend in the domestic equity market and dollar weakness in overseas markets.

The rupee resumed higher at Rs 49.03/04 per dollar on the Interbank Foreign Exchange, as against its previous close of Rs 49.34/35 per dollar, and moved up further to Rs 48.90 per dollar before quoting at Rs 49.06/07 per dollar at 1030 hours.

Sustained selling of dollars by banks and exporters on the back of dollar weakness in global markets mainly boosted the rupee sentiment, a Forex dealer said.

Asian stocks rose in early trade after euro zone policymakers moved to shore up struggling banks and fend off a financial crisis.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex was up by 533 points, or 3.38 percent, vis-a-vis its previous close.