(Reuters) Indian shares were set to open higher on Thursday, tracking Asian peers, after cooling U.S. consumer price inflation raised hopes of a Fed policy rate pause, while persistent foreign buying in domestic equities gave further support.
India's NSE stock futures listed on the Singapore exchange were up 0.20% at 18,395, as of 8:00 a.m. IST.
Most Wall Street equities advanced after data showed that U.S. consumer price inflation slowed to its lowest in two years in April, signalling that the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate hikes have managed to tackle high inflation. Asian equities edged edger.
The probability of a rate hike at the next Fed meeting in June slid to 9.6%, as of 8:00 a.m. IST from 21.9% ahead of the release of the U.S. inflation data.
Indian shares have risen for three sessions in a row, with the Nifty 50 adding 1.36% so far this week. The benchmark has gained 5.5% since March 31, 2023.
"The main driver of the ongoing rally is the sustained FII inflows," said VK Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
Foreign institutional investors extended their buying streak in Indian equities for the tenth session in a row on Wednesday, adding equities worth 18.33 billion Indian rupees ($224.14 million). FIIs have purchased shares worth 176.41 billion Indian rupees ($2.16 billion) over the period, according to provisional data from the National Stock Exchange.
"Appreciating rupee is one of the reasons why FIIs have turned buyers. Also, FIIs have changed their strategy of 'sell India, buy China' which they pursued in January and February".
Investors also await quarterly results of major firms such as Asian Paints Ltd, Eicher Motors Ltd, Deepak Nitrite Ltd, Siemens Ltd among others on Thursday.
Stocks to watch:
** Larsen & Toubro Ltd: Co beats Q4 profit view on higher project execution.
** Dr Reddy's Laboratories: Co posts 11-fold jump in Q4 profit.
** Hindalco Ltd: Subsidiary Novelis said its net income in March quarter was down 27% Y/Y.
** Godrej Consumer Products: Co reports 25% jump in fourth-quarter profit on strong demand.