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The rupee appreciated marginally by 9 paise to 68.73 against the US dollar in opening trade Thursday, driven by weakening of the US dollar vis-a-vis other currencies overseas. Forex traders said the local unit rose tracking gains in other Asian peers. Moreover, selling of the American currency by exporters also supported the domestic unit. The rupee opened strong at 68.76 at the interbank forex market then gained further ground to touch 68.73 per dollar, displaying gains of 9 paise over its last close. On Wednesday, the rupee had settled at 68.82 against the US dollar.