Indian rupee gains for 3rd day on strong inflows
* USD/INR ends at 53.6950/7150 vs prev close of 53.80/81
* Foreign fund flows have been supporting rupee
* U.S. jobs data for October due Friday
By Subhadip Sircar
MUMBAI, Nov 1 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee rose for a third successive session o n Thursday, driven by foreign fund inflows, w i th the currency likely to witness ranged trading in the absence of any major domestic cues.
The rupee is likely to be driven more by global factors, with currency markets awaiting new developments in the euro zone and with U.S. jobs data for October due on Friday.
Currency majors have been tethered in tight ranges for weeks due to the uncertainty over Greece and Spain, the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 6 and the potential for the United States to run over a fiscal debt "cliff" early next year.
The Indian unit has found support in recent sessions, including Thursday, from custodial dollar sales by foreign banks, dealers said.
Foreign funds pumped in around $2 billion in equities in October despite the benchmark index witnessing its biggest percentage fall during the month, since May.
"It was a flows driven choppy trade in a narrow band. The dollar's move against major currencies and stock market moves will be watched for cues," said Paresh Nayar, head of fixed income and forex trading at First Rand Bank in Mumbai.
The partially convertible rupee ended at 53.6950/7150 p er dollar, higher than its previous close of 53.80/81. It traded in a tight 53.67-53.90 band in the session. However, it is still 0.25 pe r cent down for the week, on its way to the third weekly loss in four. The central bank disappointed the market by keeping the repo rate on hold earlier in the week.
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards market, the one-month contract was at 54.00 w hile the three-month was at 54.55.
In the currency futures market, the most-traded near-month dollar/rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange all closed at around 53.96 wi t h total traded volume at $4.04 bi l lion. (Editing by Jijo Jacob)
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