Sensex, Nifty Likely To See Muted Start As US Banking Crisis Spreads

Indian shares look set to open on a flat note Thursday as investors react to mixed global cues, trade balance data, plummeting bond yields and tumbling oil prices.

Global sentiment remains weak amid signs that the U.S. banking crisis is spreading to Europe. On the positive side, market analysts say that global central banks, especially the Fed, will pause or go slow on interest rate hikes.

India's exports and imports both dipped over 8 percent in February, resulting in a lower trade deficit, government data showed.

Energy, aviation and paint companies could be in focus today after oil prices slumped nearly 5 percent to their lowest level in more than a year overnight on recession fears.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and Nifty surrendered early gains to end lower for a fifth consecutive session on Wednesday, while the rupee declined by 25 paise to close at 82.62 against the dollar amid unabated foreign fund outflows.

Asian stocks traded mostly lower and bond yields fell, while the dollar is seeing safe-haven demand, pushing gold prices lower. Oil ticked higher in Asian trading after falling to 2021 lows overnight.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as banks continued to feel the brunt of selling pressure on concerns over the ripple effect of the SVB meltdown.

On the economic front, U.S. retail sales fell modestly in February in line with expectations and producer prices unexpectedly declined in the month, while a measure of New York manufacturing fell more than expected in March, separate reports showed.

The Dow shed 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 declined 0.7 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished marginally higher, tracking lower yields as investors dialed back of expectations of Fed rate hikes.

European stocks tumbled on Wednesday as fresh turmoil at Swiss lender Credit Suisse raised concerns about the U.S. banking crisis spreading to Europe.

The pan European STOXX 600 slumped 2.9 percent. The German DAX plunged 3.3 percent, France's CAC 40 index plummeted 3.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gave up 3.8 percent.

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