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Sensex, Nifty Seen Opening Flat Amid Mixed Catalysts

Indian shares may open largely unchanged on Thursday in view of mixed catalysts. While firm global cues and a sharp fall in oil prices overnight may offer some support after six straight sessions of losses, the Congress' victory over the ruling BJP in Rajasthan local body polls and the Telugu Desam Party's decision to pull out two of its ministers in the central government may serve to keep underlying sentiment somewhat cautious.

Shares of consumer goods firms could be in focus after the Union Cabinet hiked dearness allowance to Central Government employees. Telecom stocks may also see increased activity after the Cabinet approved a relief package for the debt-ridden telecom sector.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty ended down about 0.9 percent on Wednesday while the rupee rose for the third day to end up by 7 paise at a fresh one-week high of 64.89 on the back of broad dollar weakness.

Asian stocks traded mostly higher this morning and the dollar saw some relief while oil pared some losses after falling more than 2 percent overnight.

Investors await China trade data as well as the outcome of monetary policy meetings from the ECB and Bank of Japan for further direction. Meanwhile, the U.S. jobs report for February, to be released Friday, is expected to show a gain of 200,000 jobs.

Overnight, U.S. stocks fluctuated before ending mixed after a key White House economic advisor resigned and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders suggested Canada, Mexico and other countries may be carved out from forthcoming tariffs for national security reasons.

On the economic front, ADP jobs data beat expectations and the Fed's Beige Book revealed moderate growth as well as building price pressures in January and February while the U.S. trade deficit surged to its highest level since 2008 in January.

The Dow slid 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 edged down marginally while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3 percent.

European markets erased earlier losses to end higher on Wednesday. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.4 percent. The German DAX rallied 1.1 percent, France's CAC 40 index rose 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.2 percent.

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