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The rupee opened higher at 49.72/73 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market from Wednesday's close of 50.08/09 per dollar and strengthened further to 49.70.

The proposed bilateral free trade agreement being negotiated by the two sides will include goods, services and investment.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee hints that the Union Budget may be presented around the middle of March in view of the ongoing Assembly elections.
Dealers said consistent dollar inflows and euro's gains against the US currency overseas mainly supported the rupee.
The overall revenue implication of the ruling could be Rs 11,000 crore at a time when government is facing resource crunch because of slowdown.
An analysis of budgets of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Goa shows that good economics ranks low in priority with the governments.
The shift in stance, industry associations believe, might reflect on the repo rates as well from here on, which would help in fueling the weakened investment cycle.
Dealers said selling of dollars by exporters and euro's gain against the US currency in overseas markets strengthened the rupee.
Dealers said sustained fall in dollar value overseas after successful bonds auction by some of the European countries boosted the rupee sentiment.