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RBI interest rate decision, macroeconomic data, COVID-19 trends and global cues would drive equity markets this week, analysts said.

They also said that the markets may see some consolidation ahead of the earnings season which would start from mid-April.

"Going ahead, Indian markets are likely to track global cues after the recent announcement of investment plan by the US President. Further, investors would now focus on upcoming quarterly results which would kick start from mid-April," Siddhartha Khemka, Head - Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd said.

"Domestically, concerns over the fast spreading second wave of COVID-19 in India continues to remain and the fear of possible lockdowns prevail. Overall markets are likely to remain in consolidation mode for some time awaiting for fresh positive triggers," Khemka said.

Nirali Shah, Head - Equity Research, Samco Securities said that a noteworthy event to look forward to this week would be the central bank's MPC meet.

The Monetary Policy Committee headed by the RBI Governor is scheduled to meet from April 5-7.

The PMI data for manufacturing and services sectors are also scheduled to be announced this week, which would also influence trading sentiments.

"Going forward the RBI policy and earnings season could be the next trigger for the market. The start of FY22 has been very good and April month could likely see more action with the start of the earnings season," said Rusmik Oza, Executive Vice President, Head of Fundamental Research at Kotak Securities.

Last week, stock markets were closed on Monday and Friday for holidays. The 30-share BSE index gained 1,021.33 points or 2% in the week.

Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking Ltd said, "In the near term, positive bias is expected to continue however, rising COVID cases in India would remain a key concern. As Q4 earning season is approaching, investors focus will shift to earnings announcements and management commentary."

"The second wave of COVID and high valuation are expected to maintain volatility in the markets in the near term," said Hemant Kanawala, Head – Equity, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co Ltd.

The 30-share BSE benchmark had clocked 20,040.66 points or 68% gain last fiscal.

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