The rupee rose on Friday, supported by dollar inflows, although choppy local shares and cautious sentiment across world financial markets ahead of key U.S. jobs data capped major gains in the local currency.
At 10:52 a.m. (0522 GMT), the rupee was 49.07/08 to the dollar, stronger than Thursday's close of 49.15/16. It has moved in a band of 49.0700 to 49.2000 so far in the session.
Market will remain subdued as the U.S. jobs data are crucial for understanding global growth trajectory. A good number will trigger a risk rally, while a bad one could push us into a risk off situation, said a senior foreign exchange dealer at a large private-sector bank.
Asian shares and the euro fell on Friday as caution set in ahead of the U.S. data, while Greek debt restructuring talks dragged on and undermined sentiment.
The U.S. jobs report, due at 1330 GMT, is expected to show the U.S. economy generated 150,000 jobs in January, keeping the unemployment rate steady at 8.5 percent.
But any selling pressure on the rupee is likely to be short-lived as foreign funds are expected to continue to invest in Asia's third largest economy as they expect strong growth momentum and easing interest rates.
Foreign funds have bought Indian shares worth $2.6 billion so far this year and invested $3.2 billion in debt, data from the Securities and Exchange Board of India showed.
A very low amount of speculative trading in the local currency after the central bank slashed trading limits on market participants will support the currency, traders said.
Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn said the bank will not lift its restrictions on speculative trading just because the rupee has been appreciating against the dollar recently.
The rupee gained more than 7 percent in January after sliding almost 16 percent in 2011.
The one-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were at 49.44.
In the currency futures market, the most-traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange were all around 49.36, on total volume of $696 million.