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Sensex, Nifty Set To Follow Asian Peers Higher

Indian shares look set to open higher on Thursday as investors react to positive developments over a potential vaccine for Covid-19 and signs of improvement in GST collections during June.

The upside, however, may be capped by concerns surrounding rising coronavirus cases in the country and the situation in Hong Kong.

Financials could be in focus after the government approved a scheme to improve the liquidity position of NBFCs/HFCs and avoid any potential systemic risks to the financial sector.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty jumped 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively on Wednesday after a survey showed the pace of contraction in India's manufacturing sector slowed further in June. The rupee settled 9 paise lower at 75.60 against the U.S. dollar.

Asian markets are moving higher this morning as focus shifted to the June U.S. employment data due later in the day.

Concerns about Hong Kong persist after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would penalize banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement a national security law.

The dollar fell and gold eased from a near eight-year high hit in the previous session, while oil prices slipped after the United States recorded its biggest one-day spike in coronavirus cases and California reimposed some coronavirus lockdown measures.

U.S. stocks closed mostly higher overnight as traders weighed Coivid-19 vaccine progress against mixed economic data and a spike in national virus cases.

While private payrolls data disappointed, a measure of U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in June, ending three months of contraction.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rallied 1 percent to reach a fresh record closing high and the S&P 500 gained half a percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3 percent.

European markets ended broadly lower on Wednesday despite fairly encouraging economic data from the euro area, China and the U.S., and positive news about a potential coronavirus vaccine.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.2 percent. The German DAX declined 0.4 percent, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both slid about 0.2 percent.

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