(Reuters) - Indian shares are set to open higher on Friday as expectations of an interest rate pause from the U.S. Federal Reserve boosted global risk sentiment and strong domestic macroeconomic factors added support.
India's NSE stock futures listed on the Singapore exchange were up 0.4% at 18,644, as of 7:52 a.m. IST. The Nifty 50 index and the S&P BSE Sensex closed slightly lower on Thursday.
On the domestic front, easing inflation, stronger-than-expected economic growth data, and fast-paced expansion of India's factory output have improved investor confidence, analysts said.
Indian automakers on Thursday reported robust sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in May on steady demand and saw an uptick in two-wheeler sales, adding to the positive sentiment.
Data overnight showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose modestly last week, while U.S. manufacturing contracted for a seventh straight month in May.
The data, along with calls from Fed officials for a pause in the June 13-14 meeting, drove bets for a rate hike lower.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold 710.7 million rupees worth of Indian equities on Thursday, while domestic investors bought 4.89 billion rupees of shares on a net basis, as per provisional NSE data.
STOCKS TO WATCH
** Astrazeneca Pharma India Ltd received permission to import for sale and distribution of Tremelimumab.
** Adani Enterprises Ltd said its unit Adani Road Transport decided to terminate the share purchase agreement with Maif Investments.
** Autoline Industries Ltd got an offer from Tata Motors to set up a facility in Sanand, Gujarat.
** Grasim Industries Ltd agreed to subscribe to shares for an amount not exceeding 10 billion rupees proposed by Aditya Birla Capital.
** Tata Motors Ltd reported a 6% rise in passenger vehicle sales for May
** Info Edge Ltd said its unit Allcheckdeals India is initiating a forensic audit into the affairs of startup 4B Networks.
** Dish TV Ltd said the notice dated May 15 issued on behalf of minority shareholders for holding an extraordinary general meeting of the company is invalid.