India’s Nifty 50 set to open higher after a three-day drop

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s benchmark Nifty 50 index is set to open higher on Friday, after a three-day losing streak, tracking Asian peers after data bolstered bets of a soft landing for the U.S. economy.

India’s GIFT Nifty was trading at 21,588.50 as of 8:24 a.m. IST, suggesting the NSE Nifty 50 will open above its Thursday closing of 21,462.25.

Both the Nifty 50 and the Sensex have dropped about 3% from Tuesday’s record highs, as a slide in top private lender HDFC Bank’s shares on weak December-quarter margins and rising doubts over early U.S. rate cuts weighed.

So far this week, the blue-chip indexes have lost nearly 2% each. If the losses hold, the benchmarks are staring at their worst weekly performance since the end of October.

“Muted results and guidance from key corporates are souring investor mood,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities. The worries of a delay in U.S. rate cuts also led to pessimism among investors, Jasani added.

Wall Street equities closed higher overnight after labour market data showed initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level since Sept. 2022.

While the data provides the latest evidence of resilience in the U.S. economy and adds to expectations of a soft landing, it also raises further doubts over a potential rate cut in the Federal Reserve’s March meeting.

Asian markets opened higher. [MKTS/GLOB]

The results of Nifty 50 constituents – Reliance Industries and Ultratech Cement, due on Friday, are now on investors’ radar.

Foreign institutional investors sold Indian shares worth a net 99.02 billion rupees ($1.19 billion) on Thursday, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth 59.77 billion rupees.


** NHPC: Company decided to exercise oversubscription option of its offer-for-sale, increasing to up to 1% in addition to base offer size of 2.5%, on Friday.

** IndusInd Bank: Private lender beat third-quarter profit expectations, helped by strong loan growth.

** Shoppers Stop: Company posted third straight fall in quarterly profit, as consumers spent less on clothes and cosmetics amid elevated prices.

** Poonawalla Fincorp: Non-bank lender reported 76.3% year-on-year growth in net profit in December quarter.

($1 = 83.1350 Indian rupees)

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