The rupee appreciated 17 paise to close at 74.74 per US dollar on Tuesday tracking positive domestic equities and hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine.

At the interbank forex market, Ithe domestic unit opened higher at 74.80 per dollar versus previous close of 74.91 and traded in 74.73-74.87 range.

During the session, it touched an intra-day high of 74.73 and a low of 74.87 against the US dollar and finally settled at 74.74, up 17 paise over its previous close.

It had settled at 74.91 against the US dollar on Monday.

Forex traders said positive domestic equities, foreign fund inflows and hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine supported the rupee.

A coronavirus vaccine created by the University of Oxford appears safe and induces a strong immune response within the body, scientists announced on Monday after the first phase of human trials.

In India, AIIMS-Delhi on Monday began recruiting volunteers for conducting human clinical trials of the indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.03 per cent to 95.80.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 490.70 points higher at 37,909.69 and broader NSE Nifty rose 132.80 points to 11,155.00.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,709.97 crore on Monday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.71 per cent to USD 44.02 per barrel.