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Indices may nudge higher

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Indian markets are likely to open in the green. Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could rise 95 points at the opening bell. Bajaj Auto, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and UltraTech Cement will declare their Q4 results today, 20 May 2020.

Overseas, Asian stocks are trading mixed on Wednesday as China's benchmark lending rate was left unchanged.

China held its benchmark lending rate steady as expected on Wednesday, mirroring the central bank's decision last week to keep borrowing costs on medium-term funding for financial institutions unchanged. The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) remained at 3.85% from last month's fixing, while the five-year LPR was also steady at 4.65% from previously.

U.S. stocks finished lower Tuesday, losing steam in the final hour of trade, after a report cast doubt on Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate and Wall Street braced for a potentially protracted economic recovery.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. Jerome Powell said the economy could take until the end of 2021 to fully recover. Powell also reiterated the central bank's commitment to programs aimed at keeping markets functioning and getting money to those who need it during the coronavirus crisis. Steven Mnuchin said the Treasury and the Federal Reserve are fully prepared to take losses on the remaining capital from the coronavirus bailouts.

Major averages fell to session lows in the wake of a report that questioned the validity of the results of Moderna's vaccine trial, which the company had announced Monday. Moderna Inc shares plunged after the report, and closed down 10.41%.

Back home, key benchmark indices ended with decent gains on Tuesday, tracking strength in other Asian peers amid optimism about a potential vaccine for the coronavirus. However, gains were capped due to rising coronavirus cases in India. The barometer S&P BSE Sensex rose 167.19 points or 0.56% at 30,196.17. The Nifty 50 index gained 55.85 points or 0.63% at 8,879.10.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 1,328.31 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net buyers to the tune of Rs 1,659.74 crore in the Indian equity market on 19 May, provisional data showed.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 08:02 IST