(Reuters) Indian shares are poised to open lower on Thursday, ahead of what many expect to be the Reserve Bank of India's final interest rate hike in the current cycle.
India's NSE stock futures listed on the Singapore exchange were down 0.12% at 17,603 as of 7:59 a.m.
The benchmark Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex racked up a fourth straight session of gains on Wednesday, aided by financial stocks, although the focus remained squarely on the RBI.
The RBI is likely to raise rates by 25 basis points (bps) to take the repo rate to a seven-year high of 6.75%, and then pause for the rest of the year, a Reuters poll of economists showed.
Besides what will be the RBI's seventh consecutive rate hike as it battles to tame inflation, investors will also watch for commentary on the central bank's policy stance and future hikes.
"The RBI will hold on to its 'withdrawal of accommodation' stance. A change to neutral at a time of global volatility and no clear signs of slowing inflation momentum could be risky", said Pranjul Bhandari, Chief Economist India at HSBC Securities and Capital Markets.
Wall Street closed lower overnight on deepening worries of a recession in the U.S. due to a growing wave of weak economic data and restrictive central bank policies.
Data showed a fall in private sector jobs, softening of demand for home loans and deceleration in services sector, weighing on sentiment. The MSCI's gauge of the broader index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.42%. [MKTS/GLOB]
STOCKS TO WATCH
** FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd: Co says beauty & personal care categories saw strong demand in Q4FY2023, expects high-teen percentage growth in fashion business.
** Equitas Small Finance Bank Ltd: Co posts 36% YoY growth in gross advances at 280.61 billion rupees in the quarter-ended March.
** Avenue Supermarts Ltd: Co posts standalone revenue from operations at 103.37 billion rupees for the quarter-ended March, up 20% YoY; total stores at 324.