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Sensex, Nifty Seen Opening Flat To Higher

Indian shares are seen opening flat to slightly higher on Thursday after two days of losses. With oil prices softening again, the dollar retreating after recent gains and India's merchandize exports logging in fifth straight month of expansion, positive sentiment may prevail in early trading.

India's January exports rose by 4.32 percent to $22.1 billion due to increase in shipments of engineering and petroleum products, official data showed. Imports also rose by 10.7 percent, leading to the trade deficit expanding to $9.84 billion.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty ended in the red for a second consecutive session on Wednesday, with a slew of disappointing corporate earnings and worrying WPI data weighing on markets.

The benchmark BSE Sensex fell by 183.75 points or 0.65 percent to close at 28,155.56 while the broader Nifty index finished down 67.60 points or 0.77 percent at 8,724.70. However, the rupee ended up by 3 paise at 66.90 per dollar to extend gains for the second day in a row.

Asian markets were mostly lower this morning as signs that the U.S. economy may see faster inflation coupled with the hawkish testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen boosted speculation that the Fed would raise interest rates at its meeting in March.

The Japanese yen strengthened, gold prices gained ground and U.S. Treasuries climbed, while oil prices edged lower to hover near $53 a barrel on data showing record high U.S. crude and gasoline inventories.

U.S. stocks rose again to hit fresh record closing highs for the fifth day running on Wednesday, as upbeat economic data on retail sales and consumer prices added to optimism that Trump's proposals on taxes and corporate deregulation will expand the economy. The Dow and the S&P 500 rose about half a percent while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6 percent.

European markets rose for a seventh straight session on Wednesday, with financials leading the surge on expectations that U.S. interest rates could rise faster than expected.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.3 percent to log its highest close since December 2015. The German DAX inched up 0.2 percent, France's CAC 40 index gained 0.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced half a percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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