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The key benchmark indices are likely to start Thursday’s session lower in a highly volatile week as

have risen sharply near $120 a barrel mark. The SGX

futures were quoting 17,203 levels at 8 am, hinting at a opening loss of 70 points on the Nifty50. 

The sharp rise in Brent crude comes amid a possibility of a EU ban on Russian oil and gas as western leaders will meet today in Brussels to plan more measures to pressure Russia to halt its conflict in Ukraine.

The markets may further witness volatility on account of the Thursday weekly F&O expiry. 

Among stocks, Zee Entertainment will be in focus as the company’s largest shareholder Invesco has decided not to pursue an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to add six independent directors as it believes Zee’s merger with Sony will achieve the fund’s aim of strengthening board oversight.

This apart, ICICI Bank will also be on the radar as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved SBI Mutual Fund, along with other SBI group companies, to hold a 9.99 per cent stake in the bank. At the end of the December quarter, SBI Mutual Fund had 5.72 per cent stake in ICICI Bank

The US markets ended with significant losses on Wednesday as oil prices jumped higher. Dow Jones, Nasdaq and the S&P 500 declined 1.2 per cent – 1.3 per cent each.

Disruptions at Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) which accounts for over 1 per cent of world demand added to the global oil supply worries. Brent and WTI crude futures surged 5.3 per cent and 5.2 per cent, each, to $121.60 and $114.93 a barrel, respectively.

Mirroring the weak US cues, major markets in Asia on Thursday started trade on a negative note. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 1.4 per cent. Kospi declined 0.8 per cent. Hang Seng and Taiwan were down around 0.6 per cent. Straits Times and Shanghai Composite, however, were up 0.2 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.



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