(Reuters) - Indian shares are set for a muted open on Thursday, on concerns of a prolonged high-interest rate regime after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his hawkish stance on the second day of congressional testimony.
India's NSE stock futures listed on the Singapore exchange were down 0.01% at 17,798.50, as of 8:00 a.m. IST.
Wall Street indexes wobbled to a mixed close after Powell said that the U.S. central bank would continue to ratchet up policy rates until inflation subsides, but stressed that the policy decision remained data dependent.
The expectations of a 50 basis point (bps) increase in the federal funds target rate at the upcoming Fed meeting have now risen above 70%.
Asian markets fell on Thursday, with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan losing 0.19%.
Indian shares extended gains for a third session in a row on Wednesday, in contrast to global peers.
Indian equities are likely to remain rangebound ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy decision on March 22, two analysts said. They added that the return of foreign investors buying and investment in the Adani conglomerate aided sentiment.
Foreign institutional investors (FII) bought a net 36.72 billion rupees ($447.85 million) worth of equities on Wednesday, extending their buying streak for a fourth session in a row.
STOCKS TO WATCH
** Bharat Forge: Company's unit inaugurates E-bike manufacturing facility; plant has a production capacity of 60,000 units per year.
** Shoppers' Stop: Singapore-based Shiseido Asia signs strategic distribution partnership with the company to expand its brand footprint in India.
** Sequent Scientific: Company terminates share purchase agreement to acquire Tineta Pharma.
** Kirloskar Oil Engines: Three promoters offload 17.7% stake in the company. Ten investors have picked up 13.65% stake for 6.36 billion rupees.
** Adani Enterprises, Adani Power, Adani Wilmar: NSE places three group firms under short-term additional surveillance measures from March 1.