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Sensex, Nifty Set For Gap-down Opening

Indian shares look set to open sharply lower on Thursday, with growth worries, concerns over fresh trade tensions between the EU and the U.S. and signs of rising Covid-19 cases likely to dent sentiment amid the expiry of monthly derivative contracts.

Investors may also need to grapple with rising border tensions after commercial satellite images and ground reports indicated Chinese troops are back on Indian territory in the Galwan Valley region in eastern Ladakh.

The Indian economy will likely contract by 4.5 percent in 2020, a "historic low", following a longer period of lockdown and slower recovery than anticipated in April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update. Growth revival is now tempered to 6 percent in FY22 from 7.4 percent estimated in April.

India registered record one-day jump of 15,968 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the county's tally to 456,183 while the death toll rose to 14,476, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty tumbled around 1.6 percent on Wednesday to snap a four-day winning streak, while the rupee settled down 6 paise at 75.72 against the U.S. dollar.

Asian markets fell sharply this morning, bonds rose and the dollar stood firm after Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina reported record increases in new cases on Wednesday.

Global growth concerns and worrying signals on the trade front also dented investors' appetite for riskier assets.

Markets in Hong Kong and mainland China are closed for public holidays. Oil prices rose after sliding more than 5 percent in the previous session.

U.S. stocks slumped overnight as coronavirus cases continued to rise in several states, raising fears of a new round of lockdowns and a slower economic recovery.

The International Monetary Fund lowered its global growth forecast for this year and next and said the pandemic was causing wider and deeper damage to economic activity than first thought.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 2.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 2.2 percent and the S&P 500 lost 2.6 percent.

European markets fell sharply on Wednesday, with a surge in coronavirus cases around the world and the U.S. threat to hit $3.1bn of European products with additional tariffs weighing on markets.

The pan European Stoxx 600 tumbled 2.8 percent. The German DAX lost 3.4 percent, France's CAC 40 index shed 2.9 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gave up 3.1 percent.

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