BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares are set for a muted start on Friday, with the focus on information technology stocks after U.S. IT firm Accenture forecast annual revenue growth above expectations.

The GIFT Nifty was trading at 23,603.5 as of 08:16 a.m. IST, indicating that the Nifty 50 will open marginally above its close of 23,567 on Thursday.

The second-heaviest sector on the Nifty 50 index, IT, will be in focus after their U.S. peer and sector bellwether Accenture forecast annual revenue growth above expectations on Thursday.

Indian IT firms look up to Accenture for cues about the demand environment in their key market, the United States, which has been grappling with persistently high interest rates.

Optimism in the banking sector is keeping benchmarks buoyant, but the focus is on stock-specific ideas given the non-directional texture of markets, said two traders.

Private bank index has risen 4.33% this week so far, leading Nifty 50 and Sensex to record closing highs.

The Nifty has posted record closing highs in five of the last six sessions, while the BSE Sensex has logged record closing highs in the previous five sessions.

However, the Nifty "has been moving in a narrow trading band of 250 points over last four sessions, with the pace of buying reducing gradually in the market," said Chandan Taparia, senior vice president, equity derivatives at Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

Foreign investors remained net buyers of domestic equities for the fourth session in a row, purchasing 4.15 billion rupees ($49.65 million) worth of shares while domestic investors sold stocks worth a net 3.26 billion rupees.


** JM Financial: India's markets regulator says the company shall not act as lead manager in any public issue of debt securities till March 31, 2025.

** PNB Housing Finance: Asia Opportunities V (Mauritius) and General Atlantic Singapore Fund FII sold 2.45% stake each, while BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley bought a combined 2% stake in bulk deals.

($1 = 83.5890 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Kashish Tandon in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)