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Mumbai: Despite a muted trend in Asian markets, the key Indian equity market indices on Thursday opened higher as the first phase of the Lok Sabha Polls began with voting in 91 seats.

The Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had closed at 38,585.35 points on Wednesday, opened higher at 38,621.58 points.

Minutes into trading, it was quoting at 38,574 points, down by 11.35 points or 0.03 per cent.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader Nifty 50, which had closed at 11,584.30 points on Wednesday, was quoting at 11,581.60 points, down by 2.70 points or 0.02 per cent.

As many as 28 stocks advanced in the Nifty 50 index while 22 stocks declined. In the BSE Sensex, 16 stocks including Tata Motors, ONGC, ITC were trading in green while 14 stocks including HDFC, TCS were trading in red at 9.20 a.m.

Indian equities fell sharply on Wednesday after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised down the global growth forecast fuelling fears of a global slowdown. Investors were also cautious ahead of the polls which began on Thursday morning.

Caution was also seen among investors ahead of the start of earning season and for fresh trade tensions between the US and the EU.

The Sensex was down by 353.87 points, or 0.91 per cent, at the Wednesday's closing. In the day's trade, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index had touched a high of 38,950.45 points and a low of 38,542.28 points. The Nifty, too was down by 87.65 points, or 0.75 per cent.

On Thursday, Asian indices were showing mostly a negative trend. Japan's Nikkei 225 was quoting in red, down by 0.22 per cent while Hang Seng was also trading in red, down by 1.09 per cent and South Korea's Kospi was down by 0.22 per cent. China's Shanghai Composite was also quoting in red, down by 1.20 per cent.

Overnight, Nasdaq closed in green, up by 0.69 per cent while FTSE 100 was down by 0.05 per cent at the closing on Wednesday.

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