January 18, 2013 / 4:25 AM / 5 years ago

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

currency of different denominations are seen in this picture illustration taken in Mumbai April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The 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., the partially convertible rupee was at 53.98/99 per dollar, after hitting 53.95, its strongest since November 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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