MUMBAI, Feb 2 The rupee is likely to
strengthen past 49 to the dollar on Thursday for the first time
in three months after a batch of strong manufacturing data from
China and India to Germany improved hunger for risky assets.
* Asian shares and the euro were higher as the data soothed
fears about world economies deteriorating on the back of the
ongoing euro zone debt crisis, while falling European debt
yields also helped sentiment.
* Traders said the rupee would open around 49.05
and move in a band of 48.90 to 49.10. It ended 0.4 percent
stronger on Wednesday at 49.2650/2750.
* The currency last strengthened past 49 in early November,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
* At 0247 GMT, the MSCI index of Asian stocks
ex-Japan was up 1.18 percent, while the Nifty
India stock futures in Singapore were 0.58 percent
higher, suggesting a positive start for local shares.
(Reporting by Aditya Phatak; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)