The Gift Nifty was trading at 22,601.50, as of 0809 a.m. IST, indicating that the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index will open above Wednesday's close of 22,434.65.

Asian markets opened higher, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index adding 0.4% after dropping about 1% in the previous session.

Most Wall Street stock indexes gained overnight as U.S. data showed slowdown in the country's services industry growth, signalling easing inflation. [MKTS/GLOB]

Indian shares closed flat on Wednesday, outperforming other Asian peers.

Foreign portfolio investors sold 22.14 billion rupees ($265 million) of shares on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares worth 11.02 billion rupees, according to provisional data from the National Stock Exchange.

Domestic investors have remained net buyers of Indian shares for 11 consecutive sessions, cushioning outflows from FPIs over the period.

"The market's short-term trajectory will hinge on the outcome of the earnings season, starting next week, with success potentially driving the Nifty 50 to fresh highs, while disappointing results could lead to a period of further consolidation or correction," said Sonam Srivastava, founder and fund manager at Wright Research, PMS.

The RBI is expected to hold rates steady in its monetary policy decision on Friday, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

The markets keenly await the central bank's commentary on inflation and growth to assess future rate outlook, analysts said.


** Axis Bank: Competition Commission of India approved proposed infusion of 16.12 billion rupees by the company in Max Life Insurance.

** Avenue Supermarts: Standalone revenue from operations for March quarter rose 19.9% year-on-year, company said in a business update.

** KEC International: Company got orders worth 8.16 billion rupees. Total order intake for fiscal year 2024 stood at 181.02 billion rupees.

** RBL Bank: Lender said gross advances for March quarter rose 19% year-on-year, while total deposits jumped 22%.

($1 = 83.4830 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Kashish Tandon in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)