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MUMBAI: Markets are likely to be stay firm on Thursday while trends in SGX Nifty indicate a mute opening of Indian benchmark indices. On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex ended at 58,723.20, up 476.11 points or 0.82% and the Nifty was at 17,519.45, up 139.45 points or 0.80%.

Asian stocks were steady Thursday amid a climb in energy shares and as traders assessed risks from the debt crisis at China Evergrande Group. Crude oil was near a six-week high.

Japanese stocks slipped, Hong Kong retreated and China fluctuated. US futures were little changed after the S&P 500 posted the biggest jump since August, avoiding a break of its 50-day moving average. The dollar remained lower.

Tata Sons Ltd and the promoter of budget airline SpiceJet Ltd are among at least two suitors for Air India Ltd as the long-drawn sale of the loss-making national carrier reached the final stage.

The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved a host of policy measures to provide relief to the cash-strapped telecom sector, including a four-year moratorium on payment of statutory dues by telcos and allowing 100% foreign investment through the automatic route. Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, at a press briefing, said the Union cabinet also approved nine structural changes and five process reforms which will bring a qualitative change in the sector.

The government has also approved production linked incentive scheme for auto, auto-component and, drone industry to enhance India's manufacturing capabilities.

Axis Bank on Wednesday said its board of directors has approved to reclassify The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd (OICL) from promoter category to public category shareholder. The bank said it received a request from OICL dated September 7, 2021, holding a 0.16% stake in the bank, to reclassify it from promoter to public shareholder.

Oil steadied after rallying on a US report showing a bigger-than-expected decline in crude stockpiles, signaling a tightening market.

Investors continue to assess the outlook for economic reopening amid the delta virus strain outbreak and rising costs fueled by higher commodity prices and pandemic-related supply snarls. The United Nations said the global economy is expected to undergo its fastest recovery in almost five decades this year, but warned about deepening inequities between advanced and developing nations.

The progress of US President Joe Biden’s economic agenda is also in focus. The biggest set of US tax increases in a generation took a major step forward on Wednesday with approval by the House Ways and Means Committee of $2.1 trillion in new levies mostly focused on corporations and the wealthy.

(Bloomberg contributed to the story)

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