(Reuters) - Indian shares are set to open higher on Friday after data showed domestic and U.S. inflation eased last month, boosting expectations that central banks could slow the pace of interest rate hikes.
India's NSE stock futures listed on the Singapore exchange were up 0.22% at 17,958, as of 8:11 a.m. IST on Friday.
India's retail inflation for December came in below the Reserve Bank of India's upper tolerance level of the 2%-6% band for the second consecutive month, easing concerns of larger rate hikes.
The RBI had raised key lending rate by 35 basis points last month, after three straight 50 bps hikes, and said its fight against inflation was not over yet.
In other Asian equities, the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.8% at a seven-month high.
Wall Street stocks extended gains overnight after data showed U.S. inflation fell for the first time in more than two-and-a-half years, bolstering hopes of less aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
Investors will now focus on IT firm Wipro Ltd's earnings due later in the day after a mixed bag from top software exporters Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd.
India's No. 1 IT firm TCS earlier this week missed quarterly profit estimates and flagged challenges with deal decisions in Europe, while second-ranked Infosys beat expectations on strong deals pipeline and raised its revenue forecast.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors extended their selling streak for the fifteenth day in a row, offloading 16.63 billion rupees ($205.03 million) worth of equities on a net basis on Thursday.
Domestic investors bought 21.28 billion rupees of shares, as per provisional NSE data.
STOCKS TO WATCH
** Wipro Ltd: Co set to report quarterly results later in the day.
** Infosys: Co raises annual revenue outlook after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit in third quarter.
** HCL Tech: Co reports higher-than-expected profit for third quarter aided by strong deal wins, but lowers full-year revenue forecast.
** L&T Technology: Co to acquire smart world and communication business of Larsen & Toubro for 8 billion rupees.