Indian shares are likely to open higher on Friday, tracking the gains in Asian peers after US labour market data indicated a cooling economy, providing support to the Federal Reserve to combat inflation.

India's GIFT Nifty was trading at 21,912 points as of 8:20 a.m. IST, suggesting the NSE Nifty 50 will open above its Thursday close of 21,697.45.

Wall Street equities closed higher overnight, and Asian markets opened higher.

US labour market data on Thursday showed sluggish jobs momentum, fuelling expectations of potential rate cuts by the Fed.

The data followed the US central bank's rate pause on Wednesday, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell endorsing the economy's strength and signalling that rates had peaked.

The odds of a 25 basis points rate cut in May rose to 59.6 per cent from 46.3 per cent, while the probability of a rate reduction in March eased following Powell's comments and the latest data, according to CMEGroup's FedWatch Tool.

"While the Fed refrained from committing how soon it would cut rates, it acknowledged cooling inflation and that rates are at their peak," said Abhishek Goenka, founder and CEO of treasury and wealth management firm IFA Global.

Investors are awaiting the January non-farm payroll report, due after Indian market hours on Friday, which will be crucial in guiding the Fed's timing for the start of its rate easing cycle

India's Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex logged marginal losses on Thursday following the government's announcement of a target to narrow its fiscal deficit in fiscal 2025 in the interim budget.

"The resolve to continue fiscal consolidation will be appreciated by global and local investors," said Dhiraj Relli, MD and CEO of HDFC Securities.

The interim budget would have "a neutral to mildly positive" near-term impact on Indian markets, Relli added.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Hero MotoCorp: Two-wheeler marker posted 21.6 per cent year-on-year rise in total sales in January.

Rites: Engineering services company logged 12.5 per cent fall in consolidated profit in December-quarter.

NMDC: Company recorded 8 per cent rise in iron ore production in January, while sales grew about 19 per cent.

FSN E-Commerce Ventures: Company announced investment worth $2.5 million into US subsidiary Nysaa Beauty .

Key results on Friday: UPL, Tata Motors , Interglobe Aviation.

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