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MUMBAI: Markets are likely to consolidate further on Wednesday, while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a flat opening of Indian benchmark indices. On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex ended at 52,549.66, down 185.93 points or 0.35%. The Nifty was at 15,748.45, down 66.25 points or 0.42%.

Asian shares rose and a gauge of global equities hovered near record highs on Wednesday after rising consumer confidence in economic recovery boosted the Nasdaq index to its highest-ever closing level.

MSCI’s global share index was set for a fifth straight month of gains on Wednesday. Its index tracking Asian shares outside Japan was set for a small monthly loss, but still on course for a fifth straight quarterly rise, its longest such streak since 2006-2007.

The market’s continued focus on Fed plans for tapering come as the world’s largest economy continues to rebound from pandemic lockdowns.

US consumer confidence jumped to its highest level in nearly one and a half years in June as growing labour market optimism amid a reopening economy offset concerns about higher inflation. That came even as the Federal Housing Finance Agency house price index shot up a record 15.7% in April from a year ago, corroborating soaring house price inflation.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 gained or 0.03%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.19%, hitting its record high close.

At the same time, some investors remain worried about the economic impact of the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus that causes covid-19.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia are all battling outbreaks and tightening restrictions, and Spain and Portugal announced restrictions for unvaccinated British tourists.

Underlining the impact of even small flare-ups of new covid-19 cases, new data showed activity in China’s services sector grew at a slower pace in June as curbs from a resurgence in cases in southern China restrained a rebound in consumption.

Back home, HDFC has said in a stock exchange filing that it has acquired an 8.4% stake in Ansal Housing after invoking shares pledged with the corporation for recovery of loans.

Indiabulls Housing Finance on Tuesday said its board has approved a proposal to raise over 7,000 crore through various means.This includes $275 million ( 2,043.43 crore) by issuing equity shares or other instruments.

Moderna Inc.’s covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday became the first messenger RNA jab and the fourth overall to be authorized for emergency use during the pandemic, with the Drugs Controller General of India granting its local partner Cipla Ltd an import licence.

The markets regulator on Tuesday tightened norms for mutual funds, hiring of independent directors and opened investments in real-estate investment trusts to small investors and in private equity and venture capital funds to so-called accredited investors.

Ircon International, Dish TV India, Prime Focus, Anant Raj and Sadbhav Engineering will announce their March quarter results today.

The currency market was more focused on the potential impact of new virus outbreaks, with the dollar edging down from one-week peaks. The dollar index was last down 0.04% at 92.026, with the yen firming slightly to 110.48 and the euro up 0.08% at $1.1904.

Meanwhile, US Treasury yields were slightly lower. The benchmark 10-year note last yielded 1.4765%, down slightly from 1.48% late on Tuesday. The 30-year bond last yielded 2.0891%, down from 2.097%.

Oil prices remained higher as hopes for a demand recovery persisted despite the new Delta variant outbreaks.

Brent crude futures settled 0.56% at $75.18 per barrel and U.S. crude gained 0.79% to $73.56.

Spot gold rose 0.15% to $1,763.66 an ounce.

(Reuters contributed to the story)

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