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Sensex, Nifty Eye Muted Start As Crude Prices Soar

Indian shares look set to open on a flat note Thursday, even as underlying sentiment may remain positive as investors react to upbeat economic data from the United States.

Housing finance companies could be in focus after the Reserve Bank of India came out with a slew of directions related to maintenance of liquidity coverage ratio, risk management, asset classification and loan-to-value ratio, among others, for them.

Meanwhile, market regulator SEBI eased IPO norms for large companies, paving the way for LIC's mega public issue.

In another development, the Union Cabinet has approved Production Linked Incentive (PLI) norms for the telecom and network equipment manufacturing in order to boost local manufacturing of the components.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty ended down about 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively on Wednesday, while the rupee slipped 5 paise to close at 72.74 against the U.S. dollar.

Asian stocks are trading mixed this morning as Treasury yields held steady after pulling back from a one-year high. China's Shanghai Composite index was up over 1 percent as traders returned from the Lunar New Year break.

The dollar held ground while gold recovered from over two-month low. Bitcoin climbed past the $52,000 mark despite warnings over its value.

Brent oil blew past $65 a barrel as a cold blast that's taken out almost 40 percent of U.S. crude production morphed into a global supply shock.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as upbeat data on retail sales, industrial production and producer prices added to inflation concerns and dented prospects of more stimulus.

Meanwhile, minutes from the January Fed meeting signaled the central bank is likely to leave policy unchanged for the foreseeable future.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent to a new record closing high, while the S&P 500 finished marginally lower and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index gave up 0.6 percent.

European markets closed lower on Wednesday as investors kept a wary eye on rising Treasury yields.

The pan European Stoxx 600 shed 0.7 percent. The German DAX tumbled 1.1 percent, France's CAC 40 index dipped 0.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.6 percent.

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