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Mumbai: Indian equity markets are likely to be volatile on Friday while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a weak opening for domestic benchmark indices. On Thursday, the BSE Sensex ended at 49,765.94, up 32.10 points or 0.06%. The Nifty closed at 14,894.90, up 30.35 points or 0.20%.

Exit polls on Thursday forecast a tight contest between the incumbent Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the high-profile West Bengal assembly polls, while the ruling Left combine was projected to retain power in Kerala and so was the case for BJP in Assam.

However, exit polls projected DMK-led opposition alliance as a winner in Tamil Nadu, while the Congress-led alliance was seen losing the neighbouring Puducherry by some pollsters.

Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank, Marico and Indian Hotels are key companies which will announce March quarter results today.

In global markets, Asian stocks fluctuated on Friday after another all-time record for the U.S. market overnight, as investors weighed the latest corporate earnings and solid economic growth data.

Shares were little changed in South Korea and Japan, where markets reopened after a holiday. Futures pointed lower in Hong Kong. US contracts slipped following a new high for the S&P 500.

Treasuries weakened and the dollar was steady in early Asia trade. China’s purchasing managers surveys signaled expansion in manufacturing and services activity in the world’s second-largest economy, after the U.S. reported growth at a 6.4% annualized pace in the first quarter.

Investors are anticipating more support from the government to add to the optimism from economic numbers. US President Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.8 trillion social package in addition to his infrastructure plans. And there’s no sign yet of the Federal Reserve withdrawing policy accommodation, with Chair Jerome Powell reasserting this week that he’s looking for more progress in the jobs market, and that inflation pressures are likely temporary.

Copper topped $10,000 a metric ton for the first time since 2011, nearing that year’s record high as the global recovery stokes demand and mines struggle to keep up. Crude oil traded just below $65 a barrel as signs of strengthening demand from the U.S. to China stoked optimism that key markets are turning a corner in their recovery.

(Bloomberg contributed to the story)

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