MUMBAI - The Indian rupee closed slightly higher against the U.S. currency on Thursday, after a choppy session in which the Reserve Bank of India likely sold dollars to support the local currency.
The rupee ended at 81.86 per U.S. dollar, a tad higher than the record closing low of 81.94 in the previous session.
The rupee had opened higher at 81.61, but was not able to sustain the gains on dollar buying by foreign banks and oil companies.
Intraday, the rupee came close to falling below the record low of 81.95, prompting the RBI to sell dollars, according to traders. The intervention by the central bank was confirmed to Reuters by two bankers and one FX brokerage firm.
The rupee was in a narrow trading range of 81.90 to 81.93 to the dollar, for more than two hours in afternoon trades.
"Once again, the rupee managed to avoid falling below 82," a trader at a private sector bank said.
"However, it clearly looks like it is only a matter of time before rupee slips below that level," the trader said.
The rebound in the dollar index and a renewed selloff in Treasuries, piled pressure on the rupee. The dollar gauge was up 0.5% at 113.36 and the 10-year Treasury yield was up about 15 basis points.
U.S. equity futures indicated that the overnight rally was unlikely to sustain. India's equity gauge, the BSE Sensex , fell 0.3% to 56,409.96. The Sensex earlier in the session had climbed to as high as 57,166.14.
(Reporting by Nimesh Vora; Editing by Neha Arora)