(Reuters) - Indian shares are set to open higher on Thursday, in line with broader markets as investors waited with optimism for data on domestic and U.S. inflation that could provide cues on the central banks' rate hike path.
India's NSE stock futures listed on the Singapore exchange were up 0.26% at 17,996.50, as of 8:04 a.m. IST on Thursday.
The U.S. consumer prices index (CPI) report, due on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. IST, is expected to show some moderation in December's year-on-year prices. Core CPI and headline inflation are both expected to slow down, providing optimism that the Federal Reserve will moderate the pace of its rate hikes.
India's retail inflation held steady last month, staying within the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) comfort range of 2%-6% for a second month, a Reuters poll of economists found. The data is due later in the day at 5:30 p.m. IST.
However, recent remarks from Fed officials have pointed to the central bank's need to remain aggressive on rate hikes. Last month, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had said the Indian central bank would continue its fight against inflation despite the worst being "behind us".
In other Asian equities, the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.5% to hover at seven-month highs.
Wall Street stocks finished higher overnight on hopes that inflation data would be favourable and suggest less aggressive rate hikes by the Fed.
Focus will also be on major IT firms Infosys Ltd, HCL Technologies Ltd, both of which are set to report quarterly earnings later in the day.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors extended their selling streak for the fourteenth day in a row, offloading 32.08 billion rupees ($393.15 million) worth of equities on a net basis on Wednesday.
Domestic investors bought 24.31 billion rupees of shares, as per provisional NSE data.
STOCKS TO WATCH
** Infosys, HCL Technologies: Companies scheduled to report their earnings for the third quarter
** State Bank of India: Government extends terms of office of Challa Sreenivasulu Settu as Managing Director of the lender for two years, effective from Jan. 20, 2023
** 5paisa Capital: Co reported consolidated net profit of 110.17 mln rupees, up 1,383% YoY and consolidated revenue of 837.62 mln, up 4.6% YoY for the third quarter
** Route Mobile: Co signed agreement with leading mobile network operators in Sri Lanka for international A2P messaging.