Indian shares set for flat start as US jobs data reignites rate fears

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares are set to open little changed on Friday, on caution after data from the U.S. reignited concerns of a prolonged high-interest regime, while investors awaited key domestic earnings.

India’s GIFT Nifty on the NSE International Exchange was up 0.09% at 19,876.5, as of 8:12 a.m. IST.

Both the Nifty 50 and Sensex hit fresh highs for the fifth straight session on Thursday, with the Nifty 50 closing just shy of the 20,000 mark. The benchmarks are on course to extend gains for the fourth week in a row, adding over 2% each so far.

Asian equities declined, following weakness in Wall Street overnight, as lacklustre earnings from Tesla and Netflix and concerns of prolonged high-interest rate regime in the U.S. weighed on sentiment.

Weekly jobless claims in the world’s largest economy fell unexpectedly, official data showed, indicating strength in the labour market and heightening fears of the U.S. Federal Reserve keeping interest rates higher for longer.

The probability of a 25 basis-point rate hike at the upcoming Fed meeting on July 26 was 99.2%.

Information technology (IT) stocks will be in focus after bellwether software services provider Infosys halved its full-year revenue growth outlook, citing cuts in tech spending. Infosys reported a 10.9% rise in profit in the June quarter post-market hours on Thursday.

Investors also await the June-quarter earnings of top Nifty 50 firms including Reliance Industries. Reliance is expected to see an about 25% year-on-year fall in June quarter consolidated profit, post-market hours on Friday.

Foreign institutional investors bought 33.71 billion rupees ($410.9 million) of Indian equities on a net basis on Thursday, while domestic investors sold 1.93 billion rupees of shares, as per provisional NSE data.


** Hindustan Unilever: Co misses June quarter profit view on higher costs.

** Union Bank: Lender reports rise in June quarter net profit, asset quality improves sequentially.

** Tanla Platforms: Co reports rise in consolidated net profit in first quarter.

** United Spirits: Co posts rise in June quarter profit on falling costs and sales growth in premium segment.

($1 = 82.0400 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)