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MUMBAI: Markets are likely to be volatile on Monday while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a flat opening of Indian benchmark indices. On Friday both the benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty hit record high. The BSE Sensex ended at 52,925.04, up 226.04 points or 0.43%. The Nifty was at 15,860.35, up 69.90 points or 0.44%.

Asian shares got the week off to a cautious start on Monday as a spike in coronavirus cases across Asia over the weekend hurt investor sentiment while oil hovered around 2.5 year highs.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last a shade weaker at 703.17, still near a two-week high of 705.35 made on June 16. Australian shares slipped 0.3% while South Korea's KOSPI index was slightly higher.Japan's Nikkei was 0.1% weaker.

Investors were concerned about a spike in coronavirus infections in Asia with Australia's most populous city of Sydney plunging into a lockdown after a cluster of cases involving the highly contagious Delta strain ballooned.

Indonesia is battling record high cases while a lockdown in Malaysia is set to be extended. Thailand too announced new restrictions in Bangkok and other provinces.

Last week, global shares reached record highs as weaker-than-expected US inflation and news of a bipartisan US infrastructure agreement boosted risk appetite. The infrastructure plan is valued at $1.2 trillion over eight years, of which $579 billion is new spending.

Back home, India’s debt soared to 58.8% of the gross domestic product in the fiscal year ended March from 51.6% a year ago as the economic contraction forced the government to borrow a record amount to meet a revenue shortfall, finance ministry data showed, prompting experts to raise concerns over debt sustainability in the medium term.

The Reserve Bank of India has placed multiple riders while approving Centrum Financial Services and BharatPe’s proposal to start a small finance bank for taking over crisis-ridden Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank).

Among key companies Hindustan Aeronautics, National Aluminium Company, Graphite India, Welspun Corp, GIC Housing Finance will announce their March quarter results today.

Online pharmacy PharmEasy’s parent will buy a 66.1% stake in diagnostic chain Thyrocare Technologies for 4,546 crore, in a sign that Indians are increasingly using mobile apps for their healthcare needs.

In primary markets, shares of Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences and Dodla Dairy will be listed on stock exchanges.

The 2,144 crore initial public opening (IPO) of Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences which opened for subscription during 16-18 June, was subscribed 3.86 times at a price band of 815-825 per share.

Dodla Dairy's 520 crore initial share-sale was subscribed 45.62 times at a price band of 421-428 apiece.

Oil prices climbed to their highest since October 2018 in early Asian trading on expectations demand growth will outstrip supply and Opec+ will be cautious in returning more crude to the market from August.

Brent futures rose 7 cents to $76.25 a barrel, while U.S. crude added 6 cents to $74.11.

In Asia, all attention will be on official factory activity from China due Wednesday. Manufacturing is expected to slow to 50.7 from 51. The private sector Caixin Manufacturing PMI will follow later in the week.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 2.7% for the week, its strongest weekly gain since early February after data showed a measure of underlying inflation rose less than expected in May, easing fears of a sudden tapering in stimulus by the Federal Reserve.

The Dow climbed 0.7% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.06% after holding near the previous session's record high. MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe closed at a record high of 721.91.

Yields for benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries , jumped back above 1.50% to close out a week in which rates notched their largest gains since March.

Monetary and fiscal stimulus around the world in response to the covid-19 pandemic is boosting financial assets, despite an uneven pace of recovery between regions.

Activity was muted in currencies. The US dollar was steady against a basket of other currencies, in choppy trading.

The Japanese yen meandered around 110.80 versus the greenback and the euro was flat too at $1.1936.

In commodities, spot gold added 0.1% to $1,782.2 an ounce as the lower-than-expected U.S. personal consumption eased concerns of higher inflation and tighter monetary conditions, boosting investor demand for the yellow metal.

(Reuters contributed to the story)

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