Domestic stock markets are likely to start the last day of the three-day holiday-truncated week on a positive note amid gains in Asian peers. The Singapore Exchange (SGX) Nifty futures - an early indicator of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty index - climbed up as much as 205.2 points to touch 8,955.75 ahead of the opening of Indian markets. At 8:16 am, the SGX Nifty futures were up 132.70 points - or 1.52 per cent - at 8,883.25. Analysts say the markets are likely to remain volatile in the short term as investors weigh the emergency measures deployed by policymakers against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Equities in other Asian markets rose on hopes the COVID-19 pandemic is nearing a peak and that governments would roll out more stimulus measures. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.6 per cent higher, tracking overnight gains in the US.
Shares in China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged late last year, rose 0.54 per cent. Australian shares were up 1.52 per cent.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 index gained 3.41 per cent, helped by hopes the pandemic was nearing its peak. However, US stock futures gave up earlier gains to trade 0.27 per cent lower on Thursday morning.
Japan's Nikkei stock index bucked the regional trend and fell 0.55 per cent as coronavirus infections in the country rose.
On Wednesday, the S&P BSE Sensex index had ended a volatile session 173.25 points (0.58 per cent) lower at 29,893.96, and the NSE Nifty settled at 8,748.75, down 43.45 points (0.49 per cent) from the previous close.