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Sensex, Nifty Set For Gap-down Opening

Indian shares look set to tumble at open on Monday as the death toll from the coronavirus continued to rise globally and India entered a virtual shutdown phase to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced fresh bond purchases worth Rs 10,000 crore via open market operations, in a bid to ensure liquidity and stability across market segments.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the timing of any interest rate action would be based on the "evolving situation".

In another development, market regulator SEBI clarified that the markets would function normally despite a partial lockdown in the financial capital and a curb on bus and train services.

In addition, the regulator has imposed curbs on short selling and sharply increased margins for both cash and derivatives segments, in a bid to curb volatility.

The Centre and state governments have decided to announce lockdown in 80 districts across the country where positive cases of coronavirus have been found. The Covid-19 positive cases surged in India on Sunday to 396.

Benchmark index Sensex plummeted as much as 17 percent last week before recovering some lost ground to end the week with a 12 percent decline. On a month-to-date basis, domestic markets fell 22 percent.

Asian markets crashed this morning as some of the biggest emergency stimulus measures since the global financial crisis announced by dozens of central banks across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia failed to ease investor concerns about the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The global death toll exceeded over 14,000 with more than 325,000 infections.

The dollar rose against major currencies while oil extended declines as governments worldwide escalated lockdowns.

U.S. stocks tumbled on Friday and capped their worst week since the height of the financial crisis as the virus numbers and economic backlash continued to be worrisome.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 4.6 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 3.8 percent and the S&P 500 lost 4.3 percent.

European markets closed higher on Friday as investors reacted positively to a raft of relief and support packages announced by governments and central banks from across the globe.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 1.8 percent. The German DAX rallied 3.1 percent and France's CAC 40 index climbed 5 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended with a 0.8 percent gain.

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