(Reuters) - Indian shares are poised to open higher on Wednesday, in line with a broader sentiment after markets perceived comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to be dovish, while investors bet on a smaller interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India. India's NSE stock futures listed on the Singapore exchange were up 0.41% at 17,802 as of 7:25 a.m. IST. The benchmark Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex indexes see-sawed on Tuesday before ending lower, as worries over a more aggressive Fed after a blowout jobs report last week outweighed hopes that the RBI will slow rate hikes.
Powell said on Tuesday disinflation has started and that he expects significant declines in inflation this year.
Wall Street closed higher overnight, while MSCI's gauge of the broader index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.51%. [MKTS/GLOB] The RBI is likely to raise rates by 25 basis points (bps) on Wednesday and then pause for the rest of the year, a Reuters poll found, as retail inflation finally came within the central bank's tolerance band of 2%-6% in the last two months of 2022. "The RBI Monetary Policy Committee will view the recent inflation prints favourably," said Suvodeep Rakshit, senior economist at Kotak Institutional Equities. Rakshit expects a last 25 bps hike today. "This would help the RBI to be on a prolonged pause as it assesses the lagged impact of the past rate hikes and input price movements, evolution of the global and domestic demand conditions, and behaviour of global central banks." Market participants will focus on the RBI's commentary on the future trajectory of rate hikes, liquidity and whether it changes its stance from "withdrawal of accommodation" to "neutral."
STOCKS TO WATCH
** Bharti Airtel Ltd: The telecom carrier reported a bigger-than-expected increase in third-quarter revenue on Tuesday, helped by 4G subscriber additions and higher revenue per user. ** Hero MotoCorp: The two-wheeler maker reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, as price hikes offset a dip in demand.
** Adani Green Energy Ltd: The company said its profit more than doubled in the third quarter, as the total power it supplied to customers increased.
** New Delhi Television Ltd: The broadcaster said profit more than halved in the third quarter on weak advertising demand.
** Oil and Natural Gas Corp: The company will invest $3.5 billion over the next three-four years to boost output from its western offshore assets, Pankaj Kumar, head of offshore assets, said on Tuesday.