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MUMBAI: Markets are likely to be volatile on Thursday while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a positive opening of Indian benchmark indices. On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex ended at 52,306.08, down 282.63 points or 0.54%. The Nifty was at 15,686.95, down 85.80 points or 0.54%.

Asian stocks were broadly steady Thursday after US shares moved in narrow ranges as traders digested commentary from Federal Reserve officials on the outlook for stimulus. Treasuries held a retreat.

Stocks were little changed in Japan, climbed in Hong Kong and edged lower in China, where the central bank increased its injection of short-term cash into the financial system.

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) may update investors about the proposed stake sale in its oil-to-chemical (O2C) business to Saudi Aramco and the Jio-Google phone at the annual general meeting on 24 June, analysts said. Investors are awaiting an announcement on the pricing and launch timeline of the Jio-Google phone. Last year, RIL’s chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said that Google would partner with Jio to design an operating system to introduce an affordable entry-level smartphone.

Tata Motors Ltd said on Wednesday that Guenter Butschek will step down as the chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director of the car and truck maker from 30 June. However, Butschek, who took charge in 2016, will continue to be associated with the Mumbai-based automaker as a consultant till the end of this financial year, according to a company statement.

Among key companies, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Ashok Leyland, Mishra Dhatu Nigam, PTC India and West Coast Paper Mills will announce their March quarter results today.

In primary markets, there are two listings today. The 909-crore offer of Shyam Metalics was subscribed 121.43 times during 14-16 June with a price band of 303-306 .Price band of auto ancillary firm Sona Comstar was 285-281 which closed its 5,500-crore public issue on 16 June after being subscribed 2.28 times.

US futures advanced, following a modest drop in the S&P 500 despite gains among firms that benefit from economic reopening. The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield remained below 1.50%.

Dallas Fed president Robert Kaplan, who’s penciled in a rate hike next year, said the economy will likely meet the Fed’s threshold for tapering asset purchases sooner than people think. His Atlanta counterpart Raphael Bostic said the central bank could decide to slow such purchases in the next few months. Neither are currently voting members of the Fed’s rate setting committee.

The dollar was little changed, while the yen held a slump, in part as the rebound from the pandemic dents the allure of haven currencies. Traders were monitoring for any impact from news that the US is poised to bar some solar products made in the Xinjiang region over alleged human rights abuses.

Fed officials have sought to reassure markets that loose monetary policy remains in place to support the recovery, while also flagging a possible gradual withdrawal of emergency support in the months ahead. They’ve also stressed that any action will depend on inflation and employment goals being met. That’s stirred a debate on the outlook for markets, especially bets tied to accelerating growth, which have dominated investor thinking this year.

On Wednesday, data showed that US manufacturing activity expanded in June at the fastest pace in records dating back to 2007. Factories are grappling with supplier delays, record growth in input costs and hiring difficulties.

Meanwhile, treasury secretary Janet Yellen said her department may exhaust emergency measures to avoid breaching the US debt limit as soon as August unless Congress acts to avert a potential default that would be “catastrophic."

Elsewhere, crude oil held above $73 a barrel. Bitcoin traded at around $33,700, steadying after a slide earlier in the week.

(Bloomberg contributed to the story)

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