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Sensex, Nifty Set To Open Higher

Indian shares may open a tad higher on Friday after BPCL reported near trebling of net profit in the December quarter and Adani Transmission reported a 32.53 percent rise in Q3 consolidated net profit.

Vodafone Idea narrowed its quarterly net loss to Rs. 6,438.8 crore in the three months to December, but the figure was higher than analysts' expectations of Rs. 4,716 crore.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the recent Indian budget's "accommodative fiscal stance" is appropriate in the weaker economic scenario, but the government needs to focus on more ambitious structural and financial sector reform measures in the medium term because of the growing debt levels.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty fell slightly on Thursday to snap a two-day winning streak after government data showed a surprise drop in December industrial output and a rise in January inflation to a six-year high.

Asian markets are trading mixed this morning as China gets ready to halve tariff rates on certain U.S. products later in the day.

The death toll from coronavirus epidemic rose to 1,483 in China, but the number of new infections in hard-hit Hubei province fell.

Japanese yen held onto gains against the dollar and gold held steady near a one-week high, while oil prices traded flat and were on track to post their first weekly gain in six weeks on expectations that major producers will implement deeper output cuts to offset slowing demand in China.

U.S. stocks fluctuated overnight before finishing lower amid news of a jump in new coronavirus cases due to the adoption of new methodology for counting infections. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.4 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent.

European markets ended broadly lower on Thursday as a spate of new coronavirus cases dented demand for riskier assets.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended little changed with a negative bias. The German DAX ended marginally lower and France's CAC 40 index eased 0.2 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost as much as 1.1 percent as the pound powered to record its highest level since December 16 against the euro.

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