Indian shares may open a tad higher on Thursday, tracking firm Asian cues after official data showed Chinese inflation slowed to 1.8 percent in July, giving policymakers more room to ease policy to support growth in the world's second-largest economy.
Having said that, a cautious undertone may prevail after global brokerage firms cut India's GDP forecasts to below 6 percent in the current fiscal year, citing poor monsoon conditions.
Investors also await June factory data due around noon for directional cues. According to analysts, industrial output is expected to shrink 0.9 percent compared to 2.4 percent growth in May, weighed down by high interest rates and contraction in demand.
Indian shares pared early gains to end little changed on Wednesday, as gains in heavyweight stocks such as Reliance Industries and Infosys offset a sharp fall in Bharti Airtel after the telecom major posted its 10th straight quarter of profit decline.
The benchmark 30-share BSE Sensex ended the session down 1 point or 0.01 percent at 17,601, while the broader Nifty index ended up 1 point or 0.02 percent at 5,338.
The rupee, meanwhile, snapped its three-day winning streak to end down 35 paise at 55.42 against the dollar, as the euro retreated and the dollar saw fresh demand from importers.
In corporate news, Indiabulls reacted strongly to Canada-based research firm Veritas' report, saying it would initiate appropriate criminal proceedings on the authors of the research report for publishing false and factually incorrect data.
Cairn India's high-profile CEO Rahul Dhir is quitting the company to pursue "entrepreneurial interests".
State-run firm Oil India reported a 9.5 percent drop in first-quarter net profit due to higher crude and gas price realizations.
Veteran industrialist Keshub Mahindra retired as Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra group after leading it for 48 years, saying it was time for the next generation to take over the baton.
Tata Power's quarterly profit plunged 66 percent from a year earlier, hurt by high interest costs and foreign exchange loss.
Infrastructure firm GVK Power and Infrastructure reported a higher-than-expected consolidated net loss of Rs.64.3 crore for the quarter ended June, largely due to higher interest costs and tax expenses.
U.S. stocks showed a lack of direction to end on a flat note overnight, with profit taking after recent gains contributing to the weakness. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 0.2 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 edged up about 0.1 percent each.
Disappointing comments from Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher also weighed on the markets, as he told Bloomberg that the Fed has done its job regarding providing the necessary economic stimulus and that it is now up to the private sector. Fisher also said that Congress needs to address the fiscal policy uncertainty in order for the liquidity in the system to be put to work.
The remarks from Fisher were in stark contrast to comments by Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, who called for an "open-ended" quantitative easing program to boost economic growth during an interview with CNBC on Tuesday.
The major European markets ended mostly lower, with France's CAC 40 down 0.4 percent and the German DAX edging down marginally, as traders took some profits off the table following recent gains.
by RTT Staff Writer
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