The Indian equity benchmarks are set to open lower as indicated by the Nifty futures on Singapore Exchange. Nifty futures on Singapore Exchange also known as SGX Nifty futures fell 21 points to 16,602 amid weak Asian markets. Asian shares stepped back on Thursday after a sharp rebound this week, though a solid Wall Street performance overnight contained losses in the region as rising vaccinations offset some of the worries over persistently high COVID-19 cases worldwide.
The global inflationary pulse was also in the headlines as the South Korean central bank raised its base rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 per cent, the first major economy in Asia to do so, after Sri Lanka hiked its base rate last week.
In early trading MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.22 per cent, with declines in Chinese bluechips off 0.81 per cent, Hong Kong down 0.31 per cent and Australia shedding 0.49 per cent.
Japan's Nikkei gained 0.04 per cent. Korea's Kopsi was little affected by the central bank hike, falling 0.31 per cent in line with regional moves.
Overnight, the benchmark S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at all-time record highs, while the Dow made gains led by financials, industrials, communications and the consumer discretionary sector. It was the S&P 500's 51st record high close this year.
Back home, foreign institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 1,071.83 crore while domestic institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 151 crore.
Infosys will be in focus after the company announced that it will set up a new digital development centre at its largest Canadian office in Mississauga.
Bharti Airtel will be in focus as the company announced that its board will meet on August 29 to consider fund raising plan.