Indian shares set to rise on strong U.S. economic data, FII buying

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares were set to track Wall Street to open higher on Thursday, after strong U.S. retail sales data signalled strength in the world’s biggest economy, while a return of foreign buying in domestic equities helped sentiment. India’s NSE stock futures listed on the Singapore exchange were up 0.25% at 18,065 as of 7:52 a.m. IST.

Wall Street equities closed higher on Wednesday, after U.S. retail sales data for January rose by the most in nearly two years, indicating strength in the economy.

Asian markets also advanced, with the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan adding 1.08%. [MKTS/GLOB]

Foreign institutional investors extended their buying streak in Indian equities for the fourth session, adding a net 4.32 bln Rupees ($52.24 million) worth of equities on Wednesday.

Over the past four sessions, FIIs have bought a net 45.17 billion rupees ($546.24 million), reversing an extended selling trend earlier in the year.

Various analysts have called FII buying a positive factor for domestic equities.

The Nifty 50 reclaimed the 18,000 mark after three weeks on Wednesday and breached key levels, signalling a bullish trend.

STOCKS TO WATCH ** InterGlobe Aviation: Co-founder’s wife likely to sell a 4% stake in Co, for 29.30 bln Rupees ($12.09 million), through a block deal, according to a media report.

** Vedanta: Co declared as preferred bidder for a Bauxite block in Odisha.

** Garden Reach Shipbuilders: Co enters into MoUs with nine companies at the Aero India event, for segments such as ship repair, commercial shipbuilding, drones.

** Mishra Dhatu Nigam: Co enters into MoUs with 11 companies including Hindustan Aeronautics, Welspun Specialty Steel at the Aero India event.

** Jaiprakash Associates: Competition Commission of India approves proposed acquisition of clinker, cement and power plants of Co by Dalmia Cement (Bharat)

($1 = 82.6920 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)