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Sensex, Nifty Set To Drift Lower As US-China Tensions Rise

Indian shares look set to open lower on Friday amid escalating geopolitical tensions. India is facing border problems with two of its neighbors-China and Nepal-while grappling with rising cases of covid-19 at home.

India on Thursday rejected Beijing's claim that Indian troops trespassed into Chinese territory, and accused the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of "hindering" patrols by Indian soldiers.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan is all set to take charge as chairman of the WHO Executive Board today. His appointment to the group comes at a time when the WHO member states have agreed to an independent probe into Covid-19, its origin, and the response of the UN health agency.

Beijing banned beef imports from four Australian producers and imposed steep tariffs on Australian barley, and now it appears that Australian coal industry is being targeted too.

Experts say that U.S.-China tensions will likely get worse ahead of the November election.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty rose around 0.4 percent on Thursday to extend gains for a third straight session, while the rupee gained 19 paise to close at 75.61 against the U.S. dollar.

Asian markets drifted lower this morning as China announced plans to impose a national security law on Hong Kong and investors parsed through initial details coming out of the National People's Congress, China's biggest political event of the year.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan said it would launch a new lending program to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. stocks fell overnight as tensions rose between America and China and investors digested weak jobless claims and existing home sales data.

Beijing said it would retaliate if the Congress passes legislation threatening sanctions against China over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 0.4 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 1 percent and the S&P 500 gave up 0.8 percent.

European markets ended lower on Thursday as signs of worsening U.S.-China relations added to concerns about global economic growth.

The pan European Stoxx 600 shed 0.8 percent. The German DAX lost 1.4 percent, France's CAC 40 index dropped 1.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid 0.9 percent.

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