(Reuters) - Indian shares are expected to open a tad lower on Thursday, with investors bracing for crucial U.S. inflation data that will provide clues about the severity of Federal Reserve's future interest rate hikes.
India's NSE stock futures, listed on the Singapore exchange , were 0.44% lower as of 0214 GMT. The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1%.
The NSE Nifty 50 index closed down 0.25% at 18,157 on Wednesday, while the S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.25% lower at 61,033.55.
Data on the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) is due later in the day, with economists polled by Reuters forecasting a decline in both the monthly and yearly core numbers for October to 0.5% and 6.5%, respectively.
India will report its inflation numbers for October next week.
In domestic earnings, Nifty components Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, Eicher Motors, shoe-maker Bata India, food delivery service provider Zomato will report quarterly numbers.
Foreign institutional investors bought net of 3.87 billion Indian rupees ($47.51 million) equities on Wednesday, while domestic investors sold 10.60 billion rupees of shares, as per provisional data available with the National Stock Exchange.
Stocks to watch:
** India will sell a 1.55% stake in Axis Bank through an offer for sale.
** India's Tata Motors said on Wednesday it expects profit and cash flow to bounce back in the second half thanks to healthy demand for its Jaguar Land Rover cars and a drop in domestic steel costs.
** India's Star Health And Allied Insurance reported Sept-qtr profit against a loss year ago.
** Indian gas company Petronet LNG reported fall in quarterly profit.
** Sri Lanka's largest port began on Wednesday construction of a $700 million terminal project, partly funded by Indian ports-to-cement and construction conglomerate Adani Group, an official said, marking the first foray by an Indian company into the sector.
** Indian port operator Adani Ports acquired a 49.38% stake in petroleum logistics service provider Oiltanking for 10.5 billion rupees.
** Indian sugar mills are aggressively signing export deals, contracting for about 1 million tonnes just four days after New Delhi approved exports.