The rupee stayed firm and rose 9 paise to 82.74 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday on the back of a weak American currency overseas and sustained inflow of foreign funds in the domestic capital markets.

The local currency also found support from positive equity markets, however, volatile crude oil prices capped its rally, forex traders said.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the domestic currency opened at 82.82 and gained further to trade at 82.74 against the greenback, climbing 9 paise from its previous close.

On Wednesday, the rupee settled 7 paise higher at 82.83 against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, declined by 0.07 per cent to 103.24.

The low level of dollar index was attributed to the US payroll data released on Wednesday, which showed lower-than-expected job growth in February.

Also, the indication of dovish monetary policy moves by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell in his testimony before Congress impacted the market participants, according to analysts.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.13 per cent to $82.85 per barrel.

In the domestic equity market, the 30-share BSE Sensex was trading 58.49 points or 0.08 per cent higher at 74,144.48 points. The broader NSE Nifty rose 17.00 points or 0.08 per cent to 22,491.05 points.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital markets on Wednesday as they bought shares worth ₹2,766.75 crore, according to exchange data.