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Rupee does better than peers, importers advised to hedge

A man counts Indian currency notes inside a shop in Mumbai

By Nimesh Vora

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The Indian rupee rose against the U.S. currency on Monday, helped by likely dollar inflows and healthier risk, traders said.

The rupee last traded at 82.37 to the dollar, up from 82.48 in the previous session. The local currency held an 82.2775 to 82.4250 range.

Meanwhile, other Asian currencies declined. The offshore Chinese yuan declined below 6.88 to the dollar and the Korean won and the Thai baht were down more than 0.5%. The dollar index rose to 103.14.

"It looks like flows or expectations of flows in the last week of the fiscal year (boosted the rupee)," a trader at a private sector bank said.

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"Having said that, it was a nothing kind of a session. It could simply be that after seeing near 82.05 last week, 82.40 looked good for dollar sellers."

The rupee reached a high of 82.07 last Thursday on the back of a dovish 25-basis-point interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Some analysts reckon that those levels were attractive from the importers' point of view.

"Until March 31, we can expect some flows and rupee to appreciate towards 82.20-82.00 levels," Amit Pabari, managing director at CR Forex, said.

"Every dip (on USD/INR pair) towards 82-82.20 should be grabbed by the importers, whereas exporters should go slow in their hedging."

The news flow related to the U.S. and Europe banking sectors is currently the main focus point for investors. In a positive development, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said on Monday that First Citizens BancShares Inc would acquire all of Silicon Valley Bank's deposits and loans from the regulator.

Meanwhile, shares of European lender Deutsche Bank rose following Friday's selloff. Futures pointed to a rise in U.S. equities at open, while Indian shares ended higher.

(Reporting by Nimesh Vora; editing by Eileen Soreng)