(Reuters) Indian shares were set for a muted start - on track to log their longest monthly losing streak in over two decades on Friday - as markets were back on inflation-watch, with investors waiting for due economic data to get a read on future rate hikes.
India's NSE stock futures listed on the Singapore exchange were down 0.05% at 17,250.50 as of 8:29 a.m. IST.
The Nifty is down 1.29% so far in March and on course to extend losses for the fourth month, its longest losing streak since 2001.
Investors at home were waiting for a set of macroeconomic indicators, including current account data and external debt.
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) data, the Fed's preferred indicator of inflation, was due later in the day.
Wall street equities rose overnight on Thursday, aided by technology shares, while U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's commentary on banking regulation rules needing a re-evaluation hit regional banks.
Weekly jobless claims in the U.S.rose moderately and gross domestic product for the October-December quarter was trimmed to 2.6% from 2.7%, signalling that tightening credit conditions were not having a material impact on the labour market and growth.
In Asia, equity indexes advanced, as strong manufacturing and services data from China lifted stocks, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gaining 1.04%.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned buyers for a third time in the last 15 sessions on Wednesday, purchasing 12.45 billion Indian rupees ($151.71 million) of equities.
Stocks to Watch
** G R Infraprojects: Co receives letter of award for a project worth 7.41 billion Rupees.
** Bharat Electronics: Ministry of Defence signs contracts worth 26.96 billion Rupees with company.
** Hindustan Aeronautics: Co receives income tax refund order of 7.91 billion Rupees.
** JSW Energy: Completes acquisition of renewable energy portfolio of Mytrah Energy. ($1 = 82.0670 Indian rupees)