Indian stocks yesterday climbed to the highest level in more than three weeks, tracking Asian equities, as higher-than-forecast data for US payrolls and the services industry boosted prospects for exports to the biggest economy. The Indian rupee meanwhile rose the most in more than a week yesterday after the US data. The currency rose 0.4% to 55.5225 per dollar in Mumbai, the biggest advance since July 26, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 55.2350 earlier, the strongest level since July 30. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was unchanged at 11.30%. The Bombay Stock Exchange India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, jumped 1.3% to 17,412.96 at the close, the highest level since July 11. Data on Friday showed US payrolls rose in July, boosted by a pickup in employment at auto makers, even as the jobless rate unexpectedly gained. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 1.7% to the highest level since July 5. The US took in 11% of Indian exports in the six months ended September 2011, according to government data. The Sensex rose 2.1% last week, ending three weeks of losses. The gauge has increased 13% this year, helped by record overseas investor purchases. Foreign funds bought a net $30mn of stocks on Friday, taking their investment into Indian equities this year to $10.7bn, according to data from the market regulator. Indian Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram yesterday said he will seek fiscal consolidation and work to revive investment, making his first statement after being named finance minister last week. Policies will be “fine-tuned” to assist capital flows, Chidambaram said, adding “corrective measures” will be taken on tax laws where necessary. From gulf times.