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MUMBAI: Markets are likely to stay weak on Tuesday while trends in SGX Nifty indicate a soft opening of Indian benchmark indices. On Monday, the BSE Sensex ended at 52,553.40, down 586.66 points or 1.10%. The Nifty closed at 15,752.40, down 171 points or 1.07%.

Asian stocks were down early on Tuesday as growing fears the spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus would harm the global economic recovery sent riskier assets, including oil, skidding sharply.

Japan's Nikkei 225 hit a six-month low in early trade and widened the losses to 1.05%. The Hang Seng Index opened 0.3% lower.

In Beijing, policymakers kept the benchmark lending rate for corporate and household loans unchanged at its July fixing on Tuesday, despite growing expectations for a cut after a surprise lowering of bank reserve requirements.

Stocks on Wall Street fell as much as 2% on Monday, with the Dow posting its worst day in nine months as covid-19 deaths increased in the United States.

Bajaj Finance, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and Asian Paints are among key companies which will announce June quarter earnings today.

Billionaire Anil Agarwal-owned Twin Star Technologies’ plan to buy Videocon Industries Ltd has received a setback after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) put on hold the potential transaction following appeals by dissenting creditors unhappy with the contours of the deal.

The board of PNB Housing Finance Ltd (HFL) had prima facie failed to uphold the interests of minority shareholders of the company, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said on Friday, defending its decision to intervene in the matter of preferential allotment of shares to a select group of investors led by the Carlyle Group.

The markets regulator, in arguments presented to the Securities Appellate Tribunal, said that a valuation report is mandatory before a company raises capital via preferred allotment of shares to ensure all shareholders are treated equally, especially if such a preferential allotment entails an open offer due to change in control and ownership.

Riskier assets globally have come under pressure recently as many countries struggle to contain the outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta virus variant, raising fears that further lockdowns and other restrictions could upend the worldwide economic recovery.

Oil prices plunged more than 6%, driven down both by worries about future demand and by an Opec+ agreement to increase supply. US yields turned higher on Tuesday following Monday's searing rally. The 10-year yield rose to 1.2087% from a close of 1.181%, a level last seen in February, and the 2-year yield edged up to 0.2196% from 0.21% Tuesday.

However, while the U.S. yield curve steepened slightly, the spread between the U.S. 10-year and 2-year yield remained near February lows, signalling investor doubts about the growth outlook.

Brent also recovered to gain 0.45% at $68.93 a barrel. However, both were still down sharply from the end of last week.

Spot gold was steady at $1,813.15 per ounce, after falling to a one-week low of $1,794.06 in the previous session.

(Reuters contributed to the story)

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