January 18, 2013 / 4:20 AM / 5 years ago

Indian rupee hits 2-1/2 month high; diesel price hike boosts

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MUMBAI, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee strengthened to its highest level in near two-and-half months on Friday, breaching the key 54-per-dollar mark, on continued bullishness a day after the government partially deregulated diesel prices.

At 9:41 a.m. (0411 GMT), the partially convertible rupee was at 53.98/99 per dollar, after hitting 53.95, its strongest since Nov. 2 and sharply up from its previous close of 54.3850/3950.

Traders said the hike in diesel prices would gradually bring down the large fiscal deficit and was a key positive for the rupee.

Broad gains in other Asian currencies and a risk-on mood in global markets also aided the rupee. (Reporting by Swati Bhat; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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