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Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could rise 3.50 points at the opening bell.

On the political front, voting in the second phase of the 2019 general elections begins today, 18 April 2019, with 95 constituencies across 11 states and one Union Territory going to polls.

Overseas, most Asian shares traded lower on Thursday. Chinese government data showed the country's economy grew 6.4% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019, maintaining the pace seen in the last quarter of 2018 as factory output picked up steam.

US stocks closed lower Wednesday as the health-care sector slumped on concerns over potential adverse impact from future policy changes.

The US trade deficit fell 3.4% in February to the lowest level in eight months, the Commerce Department said. Meanwhile, wholesale inventories in the US rose a mild 0.2% in February and sales increased 0.3%.

Meanwhile, most of the US Federal Reserve's 12 district banks reported economic activity expanded at a slight-to-moderate pace in March and early April, according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report, released Wednesday.

Closer home, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1,038.58 crore on 16 April 2019, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 37.22 crore on 16 April 2019, as per provisional data.

Local stocks ended with strong gains on 16 April 2019, on positive global cues and sustained buying by foreign portfolio investors. Met department's forecast of near-normal monsoon also boosted gains. The Sensex and the Nifty, both, hit record high on intraday as well as closing basis. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 369.80 points or 0.95% to 39,275.64. The Nifty 50 index rose 96.80 points or 0.83% to 11,787.15.

Domestic financial market was shut yesterday, 17 April 2019, on account of Mahavir Jayanti.

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