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Sensex, Nifty Seen Opening Lower In Cautious Trade

Indian shares may open lower on Thursday, with rising coronavirus cases in the country and concerns over border disputes with China and Nepal likely to keep underlying sentiment cautious.

With 5,611 new Covid-19 cases and 140 new fatalities in the last 24 hours, the total tally of coronavirus infections in India stood at 1,06,750 on Wednesday, according to the health ministry.

Globally, more than 5 million people have been infected with the virus, while 3,25,810 have died.

On the earnings front, Bajaj Auto's quarterly profit remained largely flat and UltraTech Cement's Q4 profit surged threefold on account of a deferred tax reversal, while Jubilant FoodWorks reported a nearly 72 percent year-on-year fall in standalone net profit for the fourth quarter ended March.

Chennai Petroleum Corporation, a group company of India Oil, reported a standalone net loss of Rs 1624.73 crore in the quarter ended March.

Airline stocks could be in focus today after the government announced the resumption of domestic passenger flight operations from May 25.

Financials may also see increased activity after the Union Cabinet relaxed the norms of the Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme and extended its time period in order to widen the coverage to include a larger number of stressed non-banking financial companies and housing finance companies.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty jumped over 2 percent on Wednesday to extend gains for the second straight session, while the rupee closed weak at 75.79 against the dollar.

Asian markets struggled for direction this morning as data showed recession-hit Japan's exports plunged nearly 22 percent in April, the country's worst drop in more than a decade.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China meets this week amid expectations it will resurrect its policy for significant national infrastructure spend.

The dollar ticked higher and oil rose to extend overnight gains on hopes of a rapid economic recovery and government support, while gold edged lower to snap a two-day winning streak.

U.S. stocks posted strong gains overnight on optimism about an economic recovery as all 50 states relaxed some of their coronavirus restrictions.

Investors also parsed the minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting in April, encouraging earnings news from home improvement retailer Lowe's and a report raising doubts about Moderna's potential coronavirus vaccine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 1.5 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.1 percent to reach its best closing level in three months and the S&P 500 surged 1.7 percent.

European markets recovered from an early slide to end higher on Wednesday despite reports about divisions in the EU regarding the Recovery Fund.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 1 percent. The German DAX rose 1.3 percent, France's CAC 40 index added 0.9 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 1.1 percent.

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